For a squatter this Rwandan toilet at the border of Congo really wasn’t bad. The urinal disk worked as an air freshener and the view out the window as superb. Jokes about the porcelain throne abound. This elevated seating area fit that bill, though I had a small concern that the Congolese visitors of the rooftop next door who were handing their laundry might glimpse a white moon.
The Minnesotan next to me on my flight home from Africa said his friends rate toilets on five criteria. Here they are in no particular order. The better toilet…
- …has a seat
- …has running water
- …has a door
- …has soap
- …has paper
If you’ve gone without any of these for a good length of time, you, like me, come to appreciate them like never before. To hear this list made me smile. I can delight in the smallest things and finding pleasure in simple ways is a great life practice highly recommended.
Of course, few toilets will top the one I saw inside an ambassador’s residence. In addition to the 5 fundamentals, this accommodation had lotion, a fresh flower arrangement and a lovely fainting couch. Not only is this the top of the pops, it finally makes sense of the term “restroom.”
Kristin King is an author, publisher and co-founder of the nonprofit Future Hope Africa which is based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is from Kentucky (USA) and lives as an expat in Holland.