Our bus has broken down, and the novelty of broken down vehicles in the wild has well and truly worn off. We are on a road somewhere between Cochabamba and Conception. The road is dirt gravel and a light sun shower is sprinkling. The view of the jungle is magnificent. I need a shit. I grab the emergency bog roll from my backpack. This makes Herman combust into hysterics. I slowly walk up the road, looking for an appropriate spot with Herman giggling like a Hyena in the background. It’s widely known in my circle of friends that I can’t shit in the bush. Or at least I can but I can’t do it well. You see I can’t seem to do the squat thing right, I’m also hopeless on the Asian squat toilets. My legs don’t seem to allow me to crouch in a way that wouldn’t involve me crapping into or down the back of my shorts. I don’t know how anyone does it and ive never been taught so maybe I’m just doing something wrong.
In any case, if I want to use a squat toilet, or for that matter take a crap anywhere where I wasn’t sitting on a proper western toilet, it involves quite a bit of preparation.
This time was no exception. First I have to take all my clothes off. This includes hat, sunglasses (because they could fall into my business) and find a place to put them. Secondly I need to find something solid to hold onto. I had found a little clearing off the side of the road but the terrain was so hilly that the only place I could find was a steep grassy little area between two thickets. I hang my hat on the nearest tree, with my shirt, shorts underwear and sandals.
With two hands wrapped around the limb of a small tree, I lean back like I’m waterskiing with my legs apart and do my thing. Not the most stylish position but it got the job done, I reach for the toilet paper.
“Whooah” the light rain is making the grass slippery as hell. I stand up straight, one slip and I could end up slipping straight through my excrement and down the hill naked. I clutch a twig with one hand as I wobble to stay upright, my other hand flung out with a roll of toilet roll in it to keep me upright. Balance is maintained. The twig snaps under my grip. As long as I don’t move, I will be right. I look for my next footing or hand grip to move me from my current perilous position when I am distracted by movement up on the road.
A school bus stops in the clearing above me, children all hanging out the side stop their chatter and stare at the naked white man standing in a star shaped position, twig in one hand, toilet roll in the other. My eyes widen, 20 pairs of eyes stare back and then through the mercy of god the bus moves forward.
What the hell was a bus doing all the way out here, why did it have to stop where it did, why cant I take a crap like any normal human being.
I walk back to the bus, Herman cracks into laughter again.
“You ok Robbo?”
“No Herman I am very fucking far from ok …… by the way, what do you think they do to blokes who expose themselves to kids here in Bolivia?”