As anyone who’s read my book A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an “Ordinary” Life in an Extraordinary Way will know, I often have a somewhat difficult time with bathrooms when travelling.
Mostly it is due to the unpredictable layout and design of each bathroom and its facilities as I struggle to find my way round without sight. If you can’t understand why I feel that way, try closing your eyes next time you visit a restaurant, guest house, or hotel bathroom with your own eyes shut!
Luckily my default reaction when confronted with this kind of challenge is to see the funny side – like the time I was in Charles de Gaule Airport in Paris and couldn’t find the flush mechanism no matter how hard I looked and was forced to ask for help – only to learn there is a button on the wall that you’re meant to press with the toe of your shoe.
Anyway, I guess it’s not surprising to hear that my ever-increasing stock of funny bathroom stories was added to in Ghana. In one of the guest houses the basin in the bathroom had different taps – the cold tap was a mixer tap which would only give cold water and the hot tap was an old-fashioned tap that you had to turn to start the water flowing.
The other guest house had it’s own peculiarities – no plugs in either the hand-basin or the bath, no bathmat, and only one towel despite the fact there were two of us sharing the room… luckily like any good Douglas Adams reader I never travel without a towel (feel free to read Adam’s classic book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” if that statement makes no sense to you).
And did I mention that we accidentally managed to switch off the geyser while trying to work out how to switch off the air-conditioning?
I suppose it could have been a lot worse – one of our travelling companions didn’t know she could turn on the geyser so had cold showers for the duration of her stay. Beyond that, there was a 5 cm gap between the top of the bath and the bottom of the shower curtain so there was no way she could avoid getting water all over the floor. And she didn’t have a bathmat either! So I guess we should count ourselves lucky!
So yes, my stock of bathroom experiences continues to grow as I travel to other countries… and I’m sure I’ll have even more tales after my trip to Greece later this year. After all, it’s all part of the wonderful experience of traveling!
Now I just need to decide whether or not to add a bath plug to the list of items I use when packing for my travels… What do you think?