Seeking Understanding Preceeds Enlightment



Years ago I saw a client who was about 10 years old. He was brought in for therapy by his grandfather, with whom he lived, due to some toileting issues. I had just finished outlining an intervention to try at home and asked the boy if he had “any questions”. He took a moment to think and then asked, “Why don’t plumbers wear underwear?” Although he had obviously misunderstood the context of my question, obviously this boy was seeking understanding regarding plumbers and their underwear.

Now, 15 years later, I am seeking understanding of toileting issues myself. India is a wonderfully confusing place. It presents one with many new challenges and opportunities to explore. Given the nature of our bodies, toileting is one subject to be explored daily. My first challenge was toileting on a moving train. As I was in the toilet compartment bouncing around, I wondered how many people had missed the mark and had saturated the floor where I was standing. Since you had to hold on to a pipe for balance, I wondered how many people had held the same pipe after cleaning themselves with their hand. My next toileting challenge came the next day. We were driving up the mountain on our way to Chamba and the driver stopped to pay road taxes. Fortunately there was a bathroom next to the road since nature was whispering my name. There was no door to the stall that would have provided privacy from the street, but I figured that if I am facing away and not looking at them, I could pretend no one would be looking at me. Just as I was about to find relief, I noticed that there was no pipe connected to the urinal so that anything that went into the bowl would end up on my shoes positioned below it. I quickly suppressed the urge, thinking that dry shoes were more important at the moment. Since then I have had other confusing toileting experiences. I believe I have mistook a shower stall for a bathroom and yesterday there was only a rectangular opening at the bottom of the stall with no water to wash the floor. I aimed at the hole and let it go.

I’m confused! Hopefully I will gain the necessary understanding needed to survive this aspect of life in India. Once I understand how to pee in India, then I can shift my attention to more philosophical issues such as plumbers or perhaps the purpose of life. Anyway, one day at a time …..

Craig Hall