I opened the stiff window after several attempts as aroma from the mama put (mobile food vendor) stew hit me….
“Naaa don’t fall for this” I said to myself remembering my prior mama put experience while travelling.
It was the summer of 2013 and I was travelling from benin (Edo state) to obubra (crossriver state) with my sister…. when I got tempted to eat mama put at the park. It was fried rice and chicken and I felt so fulfilled after eating and drinking enough water.
We left the park at about 9:30am and I started feeling the unbearable urge to poo almost immediately. ..it came like a mighty rushing wind. I held my breath for every pot hole the bus entered…I couldn’t sleep, listen to music, or think….I was dead to everything except the fight between my brain and anal sphincters and my anal sphincters were almost succeeding when God answered my prayers.
The bus suddenly had a problem at the outskirts of asaba(delta state) and we had to stop to fix it. The driver managed it from the outskirts to their park. It took little above 5minutes to get to the park but it felt like 100years.
As soon as the door was opened I jumped out of the bus sweating profusely and praying to God to help me keep my shit together.
I asked questions about were to pee cus I just felt it was more honorable to lie…I couldn’t say poo after dressing so well with my flawless makeup. They pointed me in the right direction and in lesser than 10 strides I was at the door…..I had to make a conscious effort not to run towards the toilet.
“Piss #20…shit #50…Na piss or shit?” A man asked just as I noticed the toilet was locked
“Shit sir…. na shit” I replied addressing him with as much respect as I could muster cus he held the key to the toilet which could as well be the key to heaven at that time.
“Gimme money” he said pointing one hand at me while he picked his teeth with the other hand..
I reached into my purse and gave him a #100 note and he gave me a #50 note.
“See water…fine girl” he said smiling revealing his tobacco stained teeth and a dentition my dad will refer to as “poor”…. I forced a smile and as he handed me a custard sized bucket of water.
I entered the toilet and couldn’t even poo immediately. I had to stand straight and say a prayer while I quickly removed my belt and pulled down my trousers…..cus rushing too much would have made me shit my pants before I got the chance to undress.
Well…it was successful…..phew!😧
After I had finished I noticed that the toilet was really dirty. Although it looked like it had been washed that morning but it was done without soap and prolly by a lazy person ….it was a pit kindof water cistern toilet the one where you have to squat. The lower part of wooden door had been disfigured most-likely by ants and old age….
Suddenly I felt too good to be in that kind of environment.
“Ewww….I better leave this place”
“Abegi no one knows you jare” I thought to myself
…I felt relieved.
I walked out not caring about what the people around looking thought of the well dressed girl coming out of that kindof toilet.
“They’ll never see me again” I thought. giving myself a mental pat on the back for not disgracing myself.
I went back to the bus and found my sister, Annie, waiting for me.
“Did you find a place?” She asked
“Yes ” I replied.
We had a little above 10minutes to talk before the car was fixed and we were ready to move.
* * *
It was already quarter pass 1pm when we left asaba and I dozed off almost immediately. My sleep was interupted by the urge to poo.
It was not as strong as the first but it came in bouts at intervals.
Annie noticed I was awake and tried to make small talk but even the sound of her voice was a nuisance.
I was still too proud to tell the driver to stop just because I wanted to poo. The passengers will just gossip me till I faint I thought as I looked at my phone. It was just a little before 4pm …I looked for sign boards to read and know where we were…..
“God let this be abakiliki”…i prayed
But we were at enugu.
“Oh God, please do not let me shit my pants, I know I am a sinner”.
“Just manage..we’ll soon reach” Annie said, interrupting my prayers but her encouragement made me more uncomfortable and angry.
Some passengers made jokes and others laughed I could only hear them but i didnt understand anything they said ….i just knew people were talking and laughing. They were just piffles to me.
After what felt like 10 hours, we reached abakiliki…I started giving mental thanks to God.
On our previous journeys home we usually stopped at abakiliki and took another vehicle home and this time our plan was no different except that they stopped at a park we weren’t use to, to drop a passenger.
I saw it as an opportunity and told the driver to drop my load that I was stopping at that park.
My sister kept telling me this isn’t our park but i already hopped down and wasn’t going back into the car…..i was losing in the fight to not shit myself and she was speaking in english.
A kekenapep rider(tricycle)came to carry our boxes to his keke…. at this time it was already pass 6pm.
Annie said i should just manage till we reach home.
I lost my cool.
“Manage what?….just go home. leave my luggage here..I’ll meet you at home I replied” now fully irritated.
“Abeg na where I fit see toilet for here?” I asked the keke rider.
“You go pass here go the back of that shop…place dey but you go pay money…. your sister go dey with una load so that i go I go show you?” He asked looking at Annie for approval and she looked away.
“Oga make we dey go!” i said impatiently and he followed me.
I walked as fast as my legs could carry me with the keke man to the toilet. Lo and behold the keeper of this toilet key wasn’t around.
At this point I was ready to enter any available bush to do it, but they was no bush. A girl walked passed us and bent almost in front of someone’s house and peed.
The placed reeked of urine and shit but I was in no position or state of mind to pick.
Meanwhile I was carrying my heavy school bag that contained my laptop and stuff.
The keke rider helped in asking around for the man with the toilet key in fluent igbo language and someone called him.
He was a man in his late twenty’s or early thirty’s…He looked like he was an experience tout as he walked slowly towards us, with his shirt hanging across his neck and half smoked stick of cigarette on his lips….
As soon as he opened the toilet I gave him #100 without asking for the price and went into the toilet with everything i was carrying cus i didnt trust the keke rider enough to let him hold my bag and gee everywhere was dark!
It was an open pit toilet. The kind where you have to use a potty and then pour it in….better still, it was built like a soak away with an opening at the top.
Well I came out victorious!🙌
And from the look on my face and the sweat that ran down everywhere…you’d know virtue had left me.
I followed the keke man back to his kekenapep where my sister was angrily waiting.
I didn’t say sorry…..I’ll like to claim that i was too weak to talk but the truth is I didn’t care.
We finally got to our usual park and took a cab to ofrekpe a riverine village in ebonyi just a swim from my village in crossriver state. And all through the almost 2hours journey to ofrekpe I expected to have the urge to poop but it didn’t come.
We entered a canoe, crossed the river and then a bike home (i fell from the bike…..story for another day😂😂😂😂).
The annoying part was i didn’t poo when I got home or even the next day.😡
* * *
Fast forward….In the next three and a half years I have had some courses in bacteriology and parasitology and realised that was simply food poisoning.
So if you are travelling and the urge to fill your tank has occluded your reasoning momentarily and you are not sure of the food source, dont drink water because the bacteria thrives in an alkaline medium…
The stomach is acidic and water makes it less acidic, allowing the bacteria thrive.
Watch what you eat especially when travelling.
Note please: I’ll be looking forwards to your comments, contributions and experiences. Thankyou😍