When I was in high school, I was an international traveler. Well, I went to Mexico.
On a missions trip. But it totally counts as international.
Our time down there was for a week. We lived in a tent city of about five thousand other Americans. Eating canned ravioli and cup o' noodles. And sweet bottled Coca Cola.
No baths, or showers, and only washing your hair twice, in the hoses that ran in the city parks. And all the while you washed your hair, you would pray that not a drop would get in your mouth. Because it contained something or other that would give you the Hershey squirts something fierce. And who wants that, in another country, with no bathrooms. During the day, all the different church groups went to their "foster" church, and taught vacation bible school. 45 minutes of driving, on bumpy dirt roads, in 85 degree heat, to these little villages. The kids were sooo excited to see us, clamoring excitedly in Spanish, wearing worn out,ripped clothes, hardly any had shoes on their feet. It was a humbling experience.
At the end of the day, we would head back, eat dinner and relax. And stand in line to use the port-o-potty. Remember the part about no bathrooms? To help us Americans out with our modern day conveniences, they trucked in a few hundred port-o-potties. For 5000 people. They had about 20 in a row, all over the tent city. The first day, it's fine. They smell like a rose met pepto bismol and had a chemical reaction. In other words, they smell empty. As in no doo-doo marinating in urine cooking in the hot sun. That stank is reserved for day 3. The end of the week, I'd rather have a bladder infection and a septic system coming out my ears, than go in there. A weeks worth of ravioli reeks havoc on one's small intestine. You could smell it from the mountains of Peru, it was so bad.
To add insult to injury, you had to use them in the dark. If there is no bathrooms, you better believe there is no electricity. When you went to the bathroom, you would go in parties of 3 or more. You had to pull your hair back, because who wants feces mites floating in the air and living in the hair that you can't really wash. Not me. You wore face masks. Because the stench, and well, those poo vapors, they could make a flower wilt. Before it grows.
After you reach the port-o-potty, you would throw open the door and waste 1/3 of a can of Lysol. Just close your eyes and spray like it's a raging wildfire. This is where your friends come in. They shine flashlights through the slats at the top. You now know who your friends are when this happens.
Then you needed to B.Y.O.T.P, not just for wiping but for lining the seat with. Not that you would actually SIT on the seat. Of all the gross things! Hover and release.
Now that you know the low down on Mexico port-o-potty 101, let me share.
When you first get there, I mentioned how they are clean, and empty. And all the boys would try to see how many guys they could cram into one, and then one by one walk out. People would just watch, and seem confused. It was every bit funny and immature as it sounds.
I was standing in line on the first day. A group of girls, very obvious this was their first time to tent city and all it's fabulous tourist attractions, were waiting to use the potty. Some chick with more make-up than a drag queen comes out, and exclaims, "Those are so neat! They even have a little purse holder so you have somewhere for your stuff!!" and walks away carrying her purse.
I stand there, thinking about what she said.
It's my turn so I go in there, and I'm looking around, and then it hits me.
That's not a purse holder.........
that's a urinal for the guys!!!!!!!
Of course I'm thinking that she couldn't possibly have thought that the stinkhole would have a purse holder..... could she? I come out and let her know it's true purpose. She turns about 8 shades of red, and everyone dies laughing. No, she really thought it was a purse holder.
Truck stops ain't got nothing on Port-o-Potties.