By Mayuri Bhattacharjee
Loos are the reason I dread train journeys. Blame it on being raised by a cleanliness-loving mother or being born with some ‘needs clean loo’ disorder, but I cannot tolerate bad loos.
My first overnight train journey on second class sleeper was with friends on an excursion to Uttar Pradesh. I distinctly remember stopping my water intake two hours before boarding the train. I was 18 and my bladders sustained the torture.
For the past two years, I have been travelling a lot by train. With ‘age’ I feel I cannot bear the self-inflicted torture of not drinking water. Although on shorter journeys ,i.e. the 8-9 hour ones I can still follow my ‘no water, no tea, no coffee’ policy, but what to do on the longer journeys which can go up to 20 hours. Initially, I had a bad time and bad times are good for triggering survival mechanisms and thus I had to come up with some hassle-free strategy. So, here is my 3-point survival strategy especially meant for Indian trains:
- I wear trousers with elastic bands or leggings. I find such trousers easier to manage than jeans inside loos. Moreover, isn’t it so uncomfortable to sleep in jeans?
- I carry a wad of loose toilet paper wrapped around a pencil (don’t ask me why). Hygiene, folks! I know a lot of women who do not clean themselves after peeing.
- Carrying a hand sanitiser/hand soap is a must for me as the liquid soap provided in most train loos has more suds than soap. Recently, I discovered Dettol wipes, which came in the free gift hamper I got at the World Toilet Summit. They are good for cleaning surfaces, if you choose to sit on a western toilet.
So, that’s it and I hope it made some sense. If you have your own survival strategy, then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayuri is the Founder of Loo Watch. She loves toilets, food and travelling, while hates bad loos, public urination and the sound of chalk on blackboard.