Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Slumdog Toilets

I have finally watched the film Slumdog Millionaire. What a fantastic story - so optimistic and romantic, beautifully filmed and with an amazing sound track. Top film. 

My comment today is that other people who have seen the film scoffed at my earlier description of the horrors of the toilets at the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (19 October 08, The World's Worst Toilet blog). They told me, "Wait until you see Slumdog Millionaire, that is definitely the worst toilet in the world," but I have to argue that they were wrong. 

The toilet on the Kyrgyz side of the Kazakh/Kyrgyz border is a place that noone should ever go. I have seen some very bad loos (notably the Hong Kong Driving License office toilet, very bad, poo everywhere,  and I remember a really bad toilet between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo where it was so rank my friend could not bring herself to use the bowl and admitted later that she had peed in the hand basin). And also some very good ones (all in Japan - amazing place to do your business). 

As my husband pointed out, the fact that the number one tip for tourists entering Kyrgyzstan at this particular border crossing (a country keen to exploit its fabulous natural wonders as an eco-tourist hub) is to avoid at all costs entering the first lavatory you see, shows that they still have a long way to go!

Below are two pictures of quite a good toilet near the Ille River in Kazakhstan. The amazing thing about the picture on the right was that after taking this snap I dropped the camera and watched in despair as it plummeted towards the dark hole of doom. Then miraculously, it bounced just on the right-hand foot plate and onto the safety of the wooden surround. A not-too-deep breath of relief later and I picked up my precious Olympus - I would never have been as desperate as Jamal to get it back (to understand this, you must watch the film...).


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