Potty Training

I have a fear of toilets that do not have seats. Up until now, all of the toilets we have encountered (aside from those on the trains) are western style toilets — you know, the kind that have two lids and a button on the side or top. I can handle that. Take away the seat, actually, take away the entire toilet and replace it with a hole in the ground, well, I’m a little less comfortable.

Within the first few days of my arrival in China, Caitlin and I had the discussion that you just don’t have to “go” as much here. It seems to be the general consensus among Americans staying here for a while. Number two stays inside of you.

With that in mind, once I saw that our current hostel features gendered holes in the ground, I just figured I would wait out our three days here and go once we left. Of course, we have overnight trains to and from here, so that’s turning into five days of backing up.

I thought it would be fine to slip by Caitlin, but once she noticed my fear of the toilets here, she insisted that I face the inevitable. Eventually (very eventually), I succumbed to her insisting and decided to stop resisting.

Twice after taking a leak, I secretly got into the position I thought I was supposed to use, and I just held it there. Soon, my legs started burning. I had my feet on the little sides, and I was in the ready position, but something just wasn’t right. Fortunately, with Caitlin’s off-site coaching and advice, I figured things out.

Then, last night it struck. I was feeling a little full down there, and it seemed like it was time. I took the slow march down the hall, and got ready. I kept my shorts near my knees like Caitlin told me, and I squatted. And waited.

In that time, I realized I was pretty much in a squatting fetal position — the same sort of position I use when I have really bad cramps and am trying desperately not to let anything leak. The position I was forced into by using the toilet is the very position I use to prevent me from going.

Adding to the problem was the fact that they didn’t want you to put toilet paper in the hole, so I noticed there was a little trash can that started smelling more and more like human feces once I realized what it was for.

Combine all of these ingredients with the fact that I guess I didn’t really have to go, I had to leave the room with no treasure left behind.

Of course, I figured the time would be right again. This time, I was feeling a little crampy — always a good sign. I informed Caitlin of the news, and she held me back, looked me in the eyes, and said, “I believe in you.”

Well, I’ll spare you from all the particular details, because this post is not at all detailed in that respect. Just know that I achieved my goal, and that [China’s food] + [holding it in] = [weird colors].

This post was not approved by Caitlin.