Tuesday 20 November 2012

It's shocking, really

how much privilege I have experienced growing up in an upper middle class home in North America.

For example, I have not once been shocked in the shower.  Until now.  My hair is still dripping wet as I type this.  Had my hair not already been frizzy, it certainly would be now.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. My landlady did warn me not to touch anything metal as I showered.  This cautionary warning actually kept me out of our shower until recently.  Finally though, I tired of my own scent.

Seriously - would YOU trust this shower?
In the end, the morals I take from this story are:

 A) electricity and water should not mix, unless at a hydroelectricity plant (even then I have my doubts),  and

 B) it's okay to be dirty and smelly.  Better dirty than dead, I always say. 

(Which is likely how I earned my 'Dirty Girl' nickname in university.  But that's a story for another time.)

My visiting friend from Canada was horrified when I explained Peruvian bathroom procedures to him over a very classy dinner last night.  As a former wastewater treatment plant tour guide, I am used to speaking of such things over meals.  I should try to remember that not everyone is so comfortable.  I told Keith that the convenient wastebasket next to each Peruvian toilet is a receptacle for used toilet paper (for cases when you are lucky enough to be provided with such a luxury as toilet paper).  The pipes and systems in Peru (and most of Latin America for that matter) are not able to handle anything that isn't produced directly by one's body.  I get so used to this that I often find myself seeking out a wastebasket next to the toilet upon return to Canada.  (To my mother's obvious horror).

Oh, and of course there's no toilet seat.  I would develop strong quads here in Peru, if only I did a bit of exercise.

One commonly used word here for a toilet is an inodoro.  For some reason I find this hilarious...An odourless?  I suppose it beats the alternative, an odourful.  And really, what luxury!  A system IN the home that uses water to rush our wastes away to the nearest river?  Or if we are very lucky, to a nearby wastewater treatment plant?  These days, we are so lucky to use inodoros - a water closet being far less odoursome than the alternative outhouse.  Interesting.  The language here fascinates me.  More on this later.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I shall address the issue of: 'V bersus B'.

I take so much for granted at home.  How much I can flush for example, and the fact that I can drink my tap water (or could even safely drink my toilet or shower water if I were that thirsty).  Stay tuned for another upcoming post addressing my recent tour of Cusco's water treatment plant.  I believe I shall call it:  'At Your Service...??'

On the topic of privilege, please excuse my somewhat light take above on this subject.  If I were to really dive into the fact that most of my friends here have nearly no preventative health care, have never seen a dentist, make less than my lunch money each week and can't travel to my country even for a visit, well, it steps outside of the lighthearted, silly and self-indulgent nature of LittleMissAdventure.com.  So, that's all for now folks.

Til next time!

Little Misadventure

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