As said before, I have a pretty sweet set up here. A very comfortable house, with comfortable items, ie, television, couches, beds, delicious edible meals, etc. We also have two western style toilets, one upstairs and the other downstairs. The way the house is constructed however, both of them are technically outside. Meaning they are outside of the main living heated living quarters. So in the summer, they are really hot, and in the winter, they are really cold with no technology regulating their temperature.
In orientation, we had a question and answer session with some veteran members of TLG currently in the field. They gave us a lot of great relevant information, one piece of which surfaced just recently. The one thing they wanted to make sure we knew was to have a pee bottle for nighttime. They said that all the other family members will have one, but will probably neglect to tell you to get one. We will need one, they said, because in the winter when it’s crazy cold and dark, the last thing you will want to do is get out of a warm bed, dress and walk outside to use the bathroom (in a village, to an outhouse.) They said to use it, and discard the contents discreetly in the morning. It’s the unspoken secret of Georgia, apparently.
Well, for my particular situation, our bedrooms are all up stairs and lined together. On my side of the hallway is another bedroom, (actually a whole suite of rooms) that that grand folks sleep. And on the other side of the hall opposite me is the boy’s room. And beside that across from the grand folks is the parents’ room. Nino sleeps with and has a bed in their room. On the far end of the hall is another door that leads to the upstairs outside bathroom.
When I have to go to the bathroom, I pass all of the rooms and once outside, I have to pass the parents’ window. If the window weren’t there, I wouldn’t think twice about passing that way. But late at night or the wee hours of the morning, I get paranoid. I don’t want to… interrupt anything.
But it’s starting to get cold. And I thought I was usually one to hold my bladder until the morning, I don’t know if it’s being in a new environment, if I actually did go to the bathroom late at night in the States and just don’t remember, or what. But whatever is going on, I find myself having to go late at night pretty regularly.
Hence the bottle concept came back to mind. But I still can’t wrap my mind around the concept. Peeing in my own room? In a bottle? What if I miss? Even hitting the porcelain bowl in the bathroom isn’t always 100%…. and it’s huge!
So I informally surveyed my #43 group to get their opinion. Here is a transcript of that conversation:
Sanchez: So has anyone pissed in a bottle in their room instead of getting up to go to the bathroom yet? I remember the ‘veteran’ panel during orientation saying it was a common thing. My host family hasn’t mentioned it (doubt they will), but it’s starting to get a little chilly in the wee hours of the morning. Not saying I’ve done it…yet. But it’s getting tempting.
Friend A: My family does it all the time, I can hear it from my room.
Friend B: No shame, i do it almost every night because its either that or get fully dressed and stumble 50 feet across the yard in the dark.
Friend C: I’ve been doing it since week 3 or 4. I like to fully immerse myself in the cultural experience.
Friend D: You’ll do it. Just wait for the snow.
Friend E: I use the pee bottle all the time, my host dad just pisses off the porch though
Friend F: Indoor toilets FTW!
Friend G: I just feel like a balloon all night and burst in the morning. Suck it in and man up…. also there are scary beasties out in the yonder dark!!
The people have spoken.
So I got my bottle yesterday. It’s a 1.5 Liter water bottle. Better be safe than sorry and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right. This morning at 4:30, my bladder woke me up. I listened to see if I could here anyone else using their bottle. Nothing.
I couldn’t do it. Plus it wasn’t THAT cold out tonight. So I opened my door, and it sounded like I woke up a couple of people with just that move alone. As soon as I opened the door that leads outside, I saw the parents’ window, and again wished I had another option. Well, actually I could technically go the other way down the hall, outside and the down the stairs to that bathroom. But that’s sooo far away.
I held my breathe and just walked on the bathroom. Did my business and went back to bed.
Stay posted as the cold approaches.
“Winter is coming.” – Eddard Stark, Game of Thrones