March 28, 2006

Foreigners in the closet

Why would I want to tell you about an "Anglo-Indian Bushless Toilet Seat Cover"? And what does that "Bushless" mean?

Well, it went like this. Turned up at a beautiful tiger sanctuary a few days ago. We had written to them about accommodation, and sent in our payment in full, and it had been a long journey, so we looked forward to simply settling into a comfortable room overlooking the lake, freshening up and then heading off to see what we could see.

Instead, we find they have booked us into not quite the room that we wanted. This one was clean enough, but no view of the lake and just shabbily kept -- cracked windows, badly chipped doors, that sort of thing. All of which would have been tolerable had I not made the mistake of peeking into the toilet. Utterly filthy, and no toilet seat.

So we made a fuss. Upon which, one man actually told us: "I don't know why you're complaining! Even foreigners have lived in that room!" Another said: "Well, we didn't know you wanted VIP treatment!"

I would like to report here that we immediately suppressed our objections and took the room. After all, what greater proof did we need of its stellar qualities than the foreigners who had been in it before?

But of course, I cannot report that. After all, we wanted VIP treatment, didn't we? A clean toilet! Can you imagine?

They gave us a room in the place that overlooks the lake, though for only two nights. After that, we would have to move into the once-foreigner-inhabited room. They did promise to clean the toilet and fit a seat on it.

Which probably explains why, waiting for lunch one day, I spied an empty cardboard box flung into the bushes, and it read "Anglo-Indian Bushless Toilet Seat."

And when we moved into the room, the toilet was spotless, and had the seat on it. It also had two bright orange frogs hopping about -- on the flush tank, inside the thing, on the floor, up the wall -- along with numerous unidentifiable insects and a sleek, shiny little lizard.

And on the inside of the door to the toilet, there was proof -- not that I had particularly wanted it -- of the presence of the foreigners. A hand-lettered sign, sticky-taped to the wood: "Geen Papier in de WC!"

Now I don't think that is a badly-spelled version of "Green Paper in the WC!" Mainly because I checked. There was no green paper in the WC.

And now that I think about it and put it all together, I believe I have the answer. It's "Bushless", because foreigners came here, but none of them was a certain GW Bush.


Anonymous said...

not that is matters...but "Geen Papier in the WC" is just Dutch for "No paper in the WC". Although, I wonder why it was taped to the inside....cruel joke perhaps? Once you are in - you are stuck....:-))

Anonymous said...


It always happen in this country. Anything foreign sells like hot cake here. I hope there will a day when people realise their true potential and feel we are no less inferior to any other.

Anonymous said...

>>Anything foreign sells like hot cake here

!!!!! You from Rae Bareilly?