Thanks to Patrick Douglas (The Bowel Update Vol 2)

Trip Start Jul 2003
Trip End May 2005

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Thanks to Patrick Douglas (The Bowel Update Vol. 2)

Dear Patrick Douglas Esq of London (and select others),

It's been quite a while since we wrote with information regarding lavatorial habits and experiences from around the world.

Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal were relatively uneventful once the hole or bowl scenario was mastered. What has amazed and impressed us has been the selection of peculiar arrangements in Tibet. Style has not been cramped (well, more crimped to be precise). Foolishly ignoring the infinite range of beautiful rocks strewn across the Himalayan Plateau we just had to sample what had been created for relief.

1. The Communal Room - several holes chiselled through a mud floor into a room below (the room below has a door and a window enabling light and therefore full visibility of its contents). Unfortunately, the open entrance into the Communal Room means most visitors tend to attempt to use those holes furthest from the entrance resulting in huge gusset autographing heaps. At this point, many vistors completely ignore the holes altogether. We also found it disconcerting, when positioned over a hole, to have someone stand over the hole in front and urinate freely barely inches from one's head (possibly the most disturbing incident to date: for the slowest 30 seconds all one can think is, "If he rims it I'm in big trouble")

2. The Horizontal Inspection Chamber - involves positioning oneself over a peculiar design consisting of a long trough in the ground about 18 inches deep and 8 inches wide. Partitions over the trough do allow some privacy. Clearance of the trough's contents appears to be by means of water occasionally trickling down the trough. The chamber may be of use in inspection if one is concerned with the current functioning of one's gastro-intestinal tract, but this is somewhat marred by the inability to identify one's own, so to speak.

3. The Irregular Landslide - located on an upper floor. Similar to the Horizontal Inspection Chamber, but with the badly tiled trough at 45 degrees. Laundry chute in style, Miss Emma took some talking into regarding not falling down it. It's proper operation appears to rely on consistency of deposit (refer to the Bristol scale). In reality, a couple of youths occasionally empty the waste water bins from outside the bedrooms down the chute (to little effect).

Anyway, there's certainly plenty more but not wishing to give the wrong impression we'd better leave it at that. It should be mentioned, however, that at very high altitude the pressure changes can play havoc with the bowels. To try to explain this with a not too completely irrelevant example, imagine a toothpaste tube filled at sea level. Now, take this tube to 5,500m where the air pressure is lower than the pressure of the toothpaste tube contents. Therefore, when the tube is opened the contents are extremely keen to depart the tube, so to speak.

Will write again.

Professor Tagnut and Dr Winnit
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