Renegade Literature

Is shitting into a hole a real thing?  yup. A motorcycle tale for the ages
April 22, 2022, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

thailand motorcycle pic

In researching out trip to SouthEast Asia Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and a couple of days in South Korea, I learned about the toilets.  Er… lack thereof.  I read that in these places, the bathroom might be a hole in the ground.  That’s it.  No stool, bench, or toilet.  None of that.  Just try and aim your butthole over that stop, and not shit yourself crazy in the process.  Girls know how to squat.   How about some toilet paper.

Oh, I wish you hadn’t asked that.  You aren’t going to like this at all.  And don’t you dare skip ahead.  I shat in a hole… for your sins.  All you have to do is read about it.   In place of that, you would often get a bucket of water.  No tools or spoons or brushes, just a bucket of water next to you.  With that, you dip you hand in and try your best to capture a small handful of water to wipe your butt with.  Let’s be clear, you wipe your butt with your own bare hand, and if you are lucky a bit of water.

But do you really want to use that bucket water?  All i know is that by this time of night, there have been likely 30 or 40 poo covered hands in that water.  When I read this, I was super freaked out and pre-occupied by it.  In short, my plan was ‘no way.  I’ll not poo for two weeks if that is what it takes.  How not to poo?  Hmm… don’t eat.   Ok, i had a plan that was win win.   Don’t eat. You will lose weight, save money, and not have to shit in a hole.

The problem with that plan?  Thai food is fucking amazing!  Perhaps you are saying right now “yeah, I am sure its all great.  But is it ‘shit in your hand’ great?  Yes it is!

We lucked out, and almost everywhere we went had toilets just like we know them.  Not just in the cities, but even in outskirts.  We had been there a week before I ever encountered one.  This meant I had let my guard down.  I began to think it was an urban myth.  I’ll spare you any more specifics, but want to make sure you know its real.  I had to do things in there I am not proud of.  At no point in time should you, even 100 years from now, shake my left hand.

To close this out, this is a very normal thing in many countries.  In Hindu and Islamic countries (which means just about all of India and Africa) you eat with your right hand, always.  Your left hand is strictly for poo duty.  This adds to the dislike and distrust of left handed people.  Do you know what the definition of the word ‘sinister’?  It’s Latin, for left handed.  It doesn’t mean evil.  Just left handed.

By the time I was finally in a circumstance to use one of these ‘toilets’, it was the least of my problems.  Let’s see if I can describe my predicament.  We did a motorcycle tour*** in Chang Mai, Thailand.  Can you ride a motorcycle, they ask.  I never had, but I understood the clutching and such.  They said take this around the business park, do a lap.  Did that, it was fine.  I said I’ll drive.  I didn’t know we would be out for 12 fucking hours across the city, county, woods… name it.  Glad I drove, though.  I would not have wanted to sit on the back of a bike holding on to someone for 12 hours.  On our way back, it starts raining heavily.  and its dark.  Our ride home is about 2 hours.  I have no idea where I am, mind you.  My instructions were to ‘keep up’.   I was the last in line of about 6 bikes. Because its raining heavy, my glasses have fogged.  I am blind without my glasses.  if I take my glasses off, I cannot see what i am typing right now.  Well, the fog was worse so I opted to take my glasses off.  it was simple, I HAD to keep up.  I don’t remember our hotel name, I don’t remember the name of the motorcycle tour rental place.  I don’t have a working cell phone.   If I lose these guys, i don’t know how to find my way back, or how to reach them.  

Since I was in the back, there was no one to even notice if I dropped off, or took a wrong turn, or crashed.  The guy in front of me, who is hauling ass, has a bike light on his backpack (in addition to the regular motorcycle lights.  But there were lots of motorcycles, so how I identify this guy in the dark from all the others is the red light centered on his backpack.  on top of this, we were not in a regular lane, but in a gray zone median towards the center divider.  Didn’t seem safe, but there was no time for discussion.  I am going about 60 mph on a motorcycle in the pouring rain with no glasses… in the dark.  It means I couldn’t look for, nor would I see, any potholes.  Imagine hitting a pothole at 60, in the dark, with no preparation.  With not even a half a second to brace.  Thankfully, that did not happen.  12 hours of this.   Well, about 8 hours in my back seized up.  I basically became locked in that position.  No worries, I thought, I brought some muscle relaxers and pain killers just in case this happened.  it did not occur to me that the rain would cause those meds to liquify and wash away.

On the way home, we stop for gas.  I am in so much pain, and so freaked out by the whole experience of driving at top speed in the dark blind with no idea where I am going. I tell the guys at the gas station that I am done.  I can’t do it anymore, I am broken,  Can someone else ride the bike (several folks were doubled up) back to the shop, and I’ll just double up with someone?  No. not possible.  I have to power through myself, which I did, like a hero.  All I told the guy in front was “please please slow down, I can’t see and don’t know where to go.  Also, please look for me once and a while, to make sure I am behind you still.”  It was clear he didn’t understand much if any English (which is not his fault.  Like I said, at this point I am physically and spiritually broken.  I have already crashed in the jungle today, did I mention that?  We were climbing a steep mountain in the mud and rain… in motorcycles… not dirt bikes.

I was, I guess, expecting something like this.  and there was plenty of this.

moto 1 thailand

I was not expecting this. 

moto 2 thailand

it’s fine, and it was more fun.  But this riding involves skill, balance, confidence.  This was my first time on a motorcycle!  Luckily, I am blessed with very good balance.  its ridiculous the sense of balance I have always had.   So, bikes don’t freak me out.

I start to slow down and realize I can’t lose speed.  so, I downshift.  or, is it upshift?  i was in third gear and it was bogging down, so I needed some quick torque, and I jumped to second gear.  thought I did.  Something slipped and I dropped it to first, and then punched it.  The motorcycle flew out from under me so quickly, I was left standing.  It was like a cartoon.  the bike launched off the cliff into the jungle.  Luckily, and this was surreal, the jungle was SO dense that it caught the bike.  The motorcycle never fell down the cliff, or even touched the ground.  It didn’t even tip over.  the density of the jungle was such that it was caught lovingly and in place while we retrieved it.  The motorcycle was somehow fine, not even a scratch.  and so was i!  I never even fell over or touched the ground.  I shot the bike from between my legs and remained standing.

Everyone, myself included, was wildly impressed.  However, it also made them assume I was a very advanced rider.  

I tell you that to tell you this.  On the way back to the motorcycle rental place, 12 hours in, we stopped for gas.  i had to poo so bad, and my spirits were crushed after this physical torture marathon.  its not just that being on a motorcycle for 12 hours is hard for me, its dangerous.  my back is (already) fucked up.  I have had several spinal surgeries.  When i took the offer up to do the tour, and helm the bike, my understanding was it would be a 90 minute or so trip through the suburbs.  So, before we head home for the final leg, I go to use the bathroom.  No toilet.  Just hole in the floor, a bucket of water, and a slotted cooking spoon.

It was really the best time to be introduced to this, now that I look back.  I was so tired, and so scared, and in so much pain, i didn’t care about shitting over a hole.  I was about 25% sure I was going to have a very bad accident on the way back.  Driving 60 mph in the dark and heavy rain with no glasses on a highway in Thailand… I figured it would end extremely badly.  So, shitting in a hole was the least of my problems.  I can look back now and laugh, it was a wild adventure, and we saw so much more of what I imagine the real Thailand to be.  Like, we saw people on elephants working rice patty fields.  This wasn’t an animal sanctuary, or zoo, or tourist thing.  We were way out the middle of nowhere.  If you are a Thai rice farmer, you don’t have a tractor.  If you are successful, you have an elephant and that is your tractor.

I am still a teency bit resentful that the package was wildly more different than was presented.  But, maybe that was more the wifey’s doing than the tour company.  she is the one who booked it.  On the upside, I now know how to ride a motorcycle…  and shit in a hole.

*** up top.  the before.  this is wifey and I on our motorcycles.  Look how happy we are, and excited.  Those sunglasses I am wearing are also prescription.  I think I ended up wearing those on the final couple of hours because they didn’t fog up.  

**** motorcycle tour – I think it was this company, but can’t say for sure. it was at least a decade ago. Actually, looking through the slide show, that looks about right.

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