When the seat just isn’t there

When the seat just isn't there

To this day, I still don’t know whether to be severely annoyed or severely pleased that the vast majority of toilets in Côte d’Ivoire are simply without seats. Even in fancy restaurants or the international airport, there are no seats. It is without a doubt much more difficult to do your business when there is no seat on a toilet. Then again, the seats in Côte d’Ivoire are all these crappy plastic Chinese seats that, if attached are always filthy, so even when there is a seat, it’s illusory at best. That’s why I brought my own seat for my house which was a fantastic weight expenditure.

But, even still, it’s always weird when you walk in to a bathroom such as the one pictured below in one of my favorite bars in Abengourou and see that there has been a case of seatjacking. I’m just thankful that I’m a guy. I guess the ladies get creative.

5 Replies to “When the seat just isn’t there”

  1. I can comfortably use one of these – either hovering above or courageously sat upon.

    About 12 months ago I bought the best toilet seats I could find in Abidjan (about $80 a piece), but both are now broken – swelling and splitting at the seams or rusting off. Not sure if it’s the climate, or just a sign that the local market doesn’t cater for quality. I might import something in the summer.

    1. Unfortunately for me, I tore both of my quadriceps many years ago and hovering for any length of time is just not possible, which was the big reason to bring a seat from the US. If you were to import one, I’m curious if you’d have the fit problem that I did or if there is some US vs. Rest-of-the-Damned-World standard.

      At first when people said that they just sat on the rim, I was kinda repulsed and then I thought about it for a second and realized that it’s pretty much the same as sitting on a seat, except that it’s easier to clean. Also, it’s much more possible in a climate like Abidjan. Try sitting on the rim in the middle of winter in the US and you’d scream.

    2. Hovering, you get very good at hovering. Hey, at least it is a toilet, instead of a hole in the floor. Traveling can be very interesting, and at times challenging as well. I sort of thought of it as a thigh master.

    3. I hurt myself sitting on a broken plastic toilet seat in Burkina once. Squeezed my thigh into the creak of broken plastic. No serious damage, but annoying. Tough more than the seat, what pisses me off is that my toilet is constantly leeking, we’ve had it repaired a zillion times, but the only way of insuring that water is not running down constantly, is to close the tap everytime you’ve finished flushing. I don’t know if it is the plumbers that are totally incompetent, or is it really that the worst toilet equipment is being shipped to West Africa. I can see why many people prefer to have a hole in the floor.

    4. Instead of bothering to keep the tank full, I’d just recommend having a bucket and flushing it manually. I think I got to the point where I could do it without any problem with 1L of water. And yes, Africa (with the exception of South Africa) does get the worst plumbing items on the face of the planet.

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