A wry view of life for the world-weary

Toilets Of The Week


With advancing age comes an increasing need to use the toilet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one built for your personal convenience?

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, a Thai princess, was visiting Yeak Lom Lake in north-east Cambodia and her dutiful hosts built her a karsey at a reputed cost of $40,000 – and very nice it looks too – in case she needed to powder her royal nose. She didn’t but did take a photo of it, apparently. So that’s alright then.

In India they do things differently. When we felt the need to relieve ourselves in public facilities, fortunately not very often, our guide would anxiously enquire whether they were American or Slumdog Millionaire. But many follow the example of the northern descendants of the Raj by having a wazz in the street. In Hyderabad the traffic police have initiated a campaign where they swoop on people spotted urinating in the street and hand them a garland of flowers, a badge of shame equivalent to being surrounded by purple dye in a public swimming baths.

Many have been supportive of the initiative but some have grumbled that the money would have been better spent on building bogs than on flowers. Try telling that to the Cambodians.


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