I've considered all my options. I see no other way out. I am going to have to move, change my name, cut my hair (probably dye it red or blonde) and maybe have 2 inches surgically removed from my femurs. It is obviously, my only option....
My humiliation is that great.
So this past weekend I was shamlessly lured to a small house party at an Ex-Pat's with the promise of real (non-frozen) cheese and homemade bread. (I mean, it wasn't cake, but it WAS cheese....could you imagine?!) And as I don't know my way around Khartoum well enough to figure out where to turn in front of the Large mis-spelled pizza sign and then wind around behind the mosque until you get to the goat pen with the dog that sleeps in the middle -- I had to follow someone to the location. (Because (a) as you guys know if the cheese/bread selection was not suitable I was TOTALLY going to be out of there; and/or (b) if people started talking politics or math, I needed to be able to get out of there pronto before the boredom overtook me!!)
My first indication there was a problem: we literally drove for over an hour to this place, we crossed a BRIDGE (which means you are officially out of Khartoum proper and are likely in either Khartoum North and/or Omdurman (neither of which I can drive around by myself!) and we took a BUNCH of random turns through a mud-hut filled village (with no street signs). Frankly, I'm not sure how we ever got there in the first place, and upon arrival - I think it might not be the original location we were headed to anyway because from my optic - THAT DID NOT LOOK LIKE CHEESE!!!
So I was pretty much trapped. There was no way I could find my way home - and I was forced to wait until the original person I followed was ready to leave. Well, GUESS WHAT!?
He wasn't ready to leave. EVER...
So I'm sitting around - and actually had a pretty nice time. The house (even though it was surrounded by mud huts, was really nice, had a great view of the Nile...and they were serving Gin and Tonics -- for a bit there, I was in heaven. And then I was immediately thrown into hell. Why, you ask??
Because I had to use the restroom.
The owner of the house took me upstairs to the master bedroom (so I could have privacy - which at first I thought was really nice and thoughtful....) It seemed all modern!! It had a huge soaking tub and a walk-in shower -- and all kinds of perfumes all over the plalce. Naturally, I tried a few of them and stunk myself up just a bit. (Note to self, do not spray men's cologne DIRECTLY ON YOU when you want to smell it. Sometimes that is actually not a good idea....)
So I'm smelling the place up before I even sit down.
And for the record - before we move on - it was NUMBER ONE! So I decide that I better get the hell out of there before I ruin something else. So I finish my time in there and turn to grab some toilet paper.
There is no toilet paper - only what appears to be the sink sprayer hose thing that we keep by the kitchen sink (remember that? back in the 70s, before our faucet became the sprayer, you had a separate little garden hose?? ) Well, that is apparently what passes for TP in Sudan.
So I try to remain calm and figure this out...so I could potentially make a little mess...right? What could possibly go wrong!??
I sprayed it all over my pants.
So now I'm in a panic! My pants look like I had a major accident, I smell like a teenaged boy back in the 80s, doused with POLO, and there is water all over the floor because the hose sprayer thing LEAKED like a MO-FO when I went to turned it on. It was like when you turn on the garden hose and it is not on there correctly, and it sprays all out the sides --
OMG! I was DYING!
What the hell was I going to do?!!?! ....So I figured, it's Sudan...shit dries here so quickly...i'll just wait it out...I'll just flush and then kind of look around the bathroom for a bit -- maybe try some of that women's cologne....
THERE WAS NO GOD DAMN FLUSHER ON THE TOILET!
I searched EVERYWHERE!! NOTHING! Nada! MOTHER F'IN NOTHING! There were all kinds of knob like things coming out of the wall (and now I'm killing myself for loaning stupid Paul my camera this weekend, because I clearly need photographic proof so you can understand my dilemma) I pushed them, I turned them (sprayed more water on my pants and now shirt and hair as well -- and then was feeling along the wall for some sort of flat secret panel like they have in the hotels in the middle east.
So WTF was I supposed to do!?!? I can't just leave it! There was no plausible deniabilty!! I was the token white chick who (because they frequently treat me like a bear in a zoo) was given special treatment and went to the bathroom that NOBODY else used.
So I did what any normal sane person (in a total panic would do). I used the giant sea shell that was on top of the toilet!!
I lifted the top off of the back of the toilet and pulled that chain thingey that the flusher is SUPPOSED to be hooked to, and did a manual flush (my God!! I'm like a plumber here!!!) I filled that sea shell up with water approximately 52 times from the faucet and filled that tank thingey back up. However, the shell was not hermetically sealed for safety and I ended up with even MORE water on the floor...so now the stupid rug was wet in front of the sink and the floor looked like it was monsoon season!
So I used their bath towel to wipe up the mess.
And then I wiped off my hands, smoothed out my hair that was all wet, tried to straighten my clothes that had semi-dried into a wrinkled mess and lovingly hung up that towel back on the rack as if nothing had happened.
I lingered upstairs for as long as I could before I thought someone would feel obligated to seek me out to see if I needed assistance and then cool and calm...I strolled back into the party and said, "What did I miss?!"
Everyone just stared at me once again. But this time with a puzzled look...wondering where the hell I went for the last 40 minutes and why was my hair wet and disheveled.
Worst part about this whole story...NOBODY ASKED ME!!! They just continued to stare in silence.
I suspect I will not be invited back.
The Very Best Day
5 hours ago