Long flights can cause havoc with one’s routine: When do I brush my teeth? Should I have that coffee? Is having a pizza at 8am a good idea?
This confusion is no different for other bodily routines. My time came when at Bishkek airport and like any ritual long delayed it’s occurrence brought a sense of comfort.
On entering the toilet I was greeted by a hole, no problem I thought, I’m well traveled, this is more like a home coming than visiting a distant relative.
I happily proceeded then as my hand reached for the roll I had a moment of panic as I had a flashback to a time I visited Homebase. The sandpaper like feeling between my fingers made me shudder. My thoughts wondered – where was the double quilted? At home I think we have something from Waitrose? How can people use this on a regular basis?
These thoughts consumed me for awhile as I went about my business. As I snapped out of my daydream it dawned on me. I’d completely forgotten my privilege of using the one stop shop toilets at home. With the bin by my feet no fuller than when I arrived I knew I was in trouble.
I wishfully flushed but with the high water resistant paper all I caused was havoc. I prodded with a brush but I may as well thrown more paper in.
What was the right thing to do in this situation? Fortunately, with the top of doors to the toilet just above my nipples I could get a crows nest view of the bathroom to plan my escape. I scanned for witnesses; I was in the clear and began to calmly leave.
As the locked snapped open a young child came bouncing into the bathroom bombing for the urinal but in Messi-esque swivel diverted towards the cubicle I just vacated.
I panicked with shame. My legs hurried to the sink but I soon found myself running, bolting out the toilets with dripping wet hands back to safety. My mind was left clogged with the reality that this trip will challenge me in many ways.