Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city

“Going Grandad House” Ahmed said to me the next morning so that was how I found myself in a Fiat Doblo with ten other people and a pygmy goat. We all excitedly crammed into the car, men, women and children for the two-hour journey to the remote village of Karatut to see Ahmed’s grandad. I sat alongside Ahmed in the front with two of the smaller children squeezed in next to me. Several bags of food together with some pots and pans were also packed in. As I’d already named the goat, Junie Little Legs (after my Mum), I was delighted to learn that fortunately, she wasn’t going to be on the menu anytime soon.

Thirty minutes into the journey and fruit and bread was being handed round to all passengers as the family happily chattered away to each other in rapid Turkish. Most vehicles travelling that day were all as overloaded as we were and the few Turkish policemen whom we passed seemed either unfazed or full of holiday spirit.

An hour later and we had a toilet break at a village petrol station and I was horrified to discover that the public toilets were the squatty potty variety. Now as I’m no contortionist and no Olympic gymnast either, I knew that in skinny jeans these facilities were going to be an issue for me. Returning the car, I explained to Ahmed “no nice toilet” so he and his elder brother kindly walked me around the village, asking at every shop and hotel, whether they had a suitable toilet. Fortunately, three gentlemen sat outside a hotel, playing cards, took pity on me and allowed me to use their facilities. They gave me a room key and Ahmed escorted me upstairs. I was surprised that the hotel was little more than a hostel but charmed that they had provided slippers outside each room for every guest to use. I was touched by their kindness and trusting manner and thought that there wouldn’t be many hoteliers back in the UK, that would hand over a room key to a complete stranger without any financial gain.

When I returned to the car, it was to rousing cheers and applause. At this point my face must have resembled the same colour as my fuchsia fleece. So I felt compelled to execute a bow to my appreciative audience. Although, I secretly hoped that Grandad’s house wasn’t that much further and also made a mental note to watch my liquid intake, as I might not find the next lot of facilities quite as convenient!

The Little Girls Room

The Little Girls Room

76 thoughts on “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city

  1. Sometimes there just isn’t a toilet handy, especially when you’re hiking. A little privacy and I’ll gladly christen a patch of forest, or, more recently, a bunch of rocks behind a boulder on Kauai’s north shore. It helps if you have a few tissues or a napkin tucked away in a pocket.

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  2. You are a funny funny chicka! I can’t wait to read the previous and future posts about your exciting life in a faraway place. Wow, I don’t know where to begin! IGWS I LOVE your background, duh, right? Enchanted Seashells better love shells! Are there lots of them there on the beaches? I went to Greece once and could see Turkey from Rhodes but I was told it was big for white slavery and I shouldn’t visit (that was back when I was young and cute) Cheers!

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    • Hello my lovely! You can get to Turkey quite easily by boat from the Greek island of Kos – you must go! We used to catch the boat from Altinkum habour to Kos as they sold bacon, english butter and cheese on the island so we used to stock up on groceries! I’ve put the whole sorry episode of my public humiliation under honeymoon stories if you want to see how it all started – nice to have you along and I loved the title of your post!

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  3. I have trouble with squatting. I’m sure if you’ve done it all your life it must strengthen the muscles in your legs or something, ‘cuz I see women far older than me managing, but I always worry how I’m gonna get up afterwards, without a handle to pull myself up with. I still don’t know how to do it in jeans without taking the damn things off. The number of times I’ve peed over the back of my trousers.

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  4. I’ve not been to Turkey, but have used the turkish-style toilet in several countries. As long as you keep your balance, it seems quite sanitary since your body isn’t touching anything – and the squats really do strengthen. Growing up on a farm and years of trail running and marathons have taught me to use whatever is available – and always keep a couple of tissues and sealed handiwipes tucked somewhere. Love your adventures – some things in life we just can’t make up if we tried.

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  5. I had a squatty potty experience in the coach station outside Pamukkale – I don’t think I’ll ever master those things. I thought the hose was there to wash off your feet afterwards!!! Lucky I was wearing flip-flops….

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    • what a fabulous idea and very appropriate! I’m in awe of our trouser wearing Turkish sisters that manage – they’re certainly a lot more bendy than me! Just been looking over all your Cappadocia again, think I might have to print them off and put them on my fridge as an incentive!

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  6. I haven’t traveled to a country with a “squatty potty,” but living out in a rural area (and our house only having one bathroom), I have been known to squat when need be. 😉

    Yoga…this is one of the (MANY) reasons I do yoga 😉

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  7. You’re a brave girl. I would have remained tight-lipped with legs crossed until I suffered internal injuries. Whenever we used to visit my Pakistani in-laws, the tension it caused me would take the form of constipation – everything just stopped. Having your bowel-movements (or lack thereof) the subject of family discussion of an evening is the ultimate in humiliation. Perhaps I’m over-sensitive *shrugs* Pass the prune-juice…

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    • I don’t know about being brave, I was almost hyperventilating at the thought of being caught short again and like your in-laws, nothing is too private to be discussed by a Turkish family including urinary tract infections – bless ’em!

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  8. Oh, the hole in the ground toilets? The kind that has the two “place holds” for the feet where you have to squat backwards? Unfortunately those are very common in France as well–usually as the public bathrooms in a town or sometimes at rest stops along the highway. I kid you not, the French call those types of toilets “toilettes turques” or literally translated Turkish toilets!

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  9. The world tour of potty facilities… seems to take care of any thought of foreign travel at my age. Might have coped when younger, but I’m far too spoiled and UN-bendy. 😉

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  10. No Starbucks here in my remote little town, but no ‘squatty potties’ either…
    Wow, you are a good sport, Dallas… I’m with Aisha on this one, everything would have come to a complete stop!

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  11. Oh gosh – I had to experience the squatty potty’s at the central bus station in Athens. Those things: not pleasant. Glad you could find another bathroom, because our recent styles definitely do not aid squatting…

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  12. I have invested in a GoGirl – a urinary device for women that allows you to pee standing up. It takes a bit of practice but as I cannot squat either it certainly takes the terror out of squatty potties, unless of course you need to do a no. 2!

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  13. As always, your experiences made me laugh out loud. Well done on find a suitable restroom though, otherwise the journey would’ve been unbearable! Oh and, no road trip is complete without an adequate amount of snacks 🙂

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