My 2 And Half Year Old Is Scared Of Everything Culture Shock in Public Restrooms – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Culture Shock in Public Restrooms – Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca is a paradise in many rights…beautiful valleys, delicious food, exciting tours, ancient Zapotec ruins, colorful traditions and warm and friendly people…but eventually you will have to go to the bathroom!

Now, if you’re in places that cater to international tourism, there’s no culture shock involved when you’re 1 and 2 years old. You go to the bathroom like you would anywhere else in the states, the only difference is the little figures that are usually made. to distinguish between the men’s room and the ladies’ room are a hat and a traditional dress, (not always in that order). However, if you are in Oaxaca, you are most likely looking to experience it real Mexico If not, you’d go somewhere like Cancun or Acapulco where everyone speaks English and you can pay in dollars. But if you’re going to be here in Oaxaca, you must accept the “obstacles“, (the obstacles), here. Let me tell you a little story:

A few years ago I was sitting at the ADO bus station in Oaxaca on my way to the airport in Mexico City where I needed to catch a flight to Miami to visit my father. (Flying out of Mexico City instead of Oaxaca is a good idea if you’re on a budget and want to save money.) Anyway… I was sitting in the terminal eating a Twix bar when I saw a tall woman , thin and blonde runs beside me towards the bathrooms, obviously in a hurry to get there. Completely undressing the woman sitting behind a table in front of the restrooms, she hurried into the ladies room. Caught off guard, the short, chubby, dark-skinned woman behind the desk stood up and yelled at the foreigner, “Miss! Miss! MRSOOORRRIIITTTAAA!!!!”

Half-frightened, the blond-haired woman poked her head through the bathroom door, but before she could say anything, the attendant said firmly, “5 pesos please!”. Leaving the bathroom completely, the foreigner approached the table where the manager sat and pointed to a sign over her right shoulder that said, in English, “YOU MUST PAY 5 PESOS TO USE THESE FACILITIES.” When reading that sign, evidently not seen due to the urgency of the situation, the foreigner got angry, said something ungratifying to the bathroom attendant and returned to her seat in the terminal. I watched as she threw herself into her chair and began whispering, pursed lips, to a gentleman next to her who could be her brother because he looked like the male version of her.

I sat down to watch the show because I had forgotten to bring a book or buy a magazine and I was terribly bored. After about 20 grueling minutes where I could watch the foreign lady’s face getting redder and redder, she got up, unwillingly, and went to the bathroom. Upon arriving at the manager’s desk where the manager, obviously aware of the situation the foreigner was in, flashed a triumphant half smile as she dropped the 5 pesos on the table and burst into the bathroom without even receiving the toilet paper the manager handed her. out the door

I simply shook my head and acknowledged the difficulties many foreigners encounter when they come to participate in Mexican culture for a while. I know it’s not always easy, but you can’t come down here and be adamant in situations like this. It takes patience, understanding and then more patience if you want to enjoy Oaxaca or Mexico in general. You must accept these cultural differences if you want to enjoy the culture at all and believe me, the pros outweigh the cons 100 to 1. Now let me tell you about some other “inconsistencies” in going to the bathroom in Oaxaca just to save you. the trauma:

In addition to the fact that you may have to pay 2-5 pesos to enter a “public” bathroom, you can also be given a moderate amount of toilet paper upon entering because there are no toilet paper rolls at the stalls themselves. in most cases. Now let me tell you, they do this to save money, so sometimes they give you a very, very small amount of toilet paper which doesn’t really help if Montezuma is paying you a visit. So please learn from my not so pleasant experiences… Always carry extra toilet paper with you wherever you go. You may notice that many bus and taxi drivers in Oaxaca have toilet paper tucked between the dashboard and the windshield. Well… that’s why!

Now, when you enter a restroom stall and close the door behind you, (which may or may not have a lock), you may notice that there is no seat in the restroom. Correct! You will have to sit directly on the china if you want to sit down. If you do, you have to hurry because the edge of the toilet is going to cut off your circulation pretty quickly which makes it hard to walk when you’re done, believe me. Ohhhh…and when you’re done and try to wash the bowl, there might be no water. In these cases, bathroom attendants leave buckets outside the stalls and provide a place to dip the bucket and pour water into the toilet.

When you finish using what you need and go to wash your hands and… oooopppssss…. you forgot… no water! That’s when you get the “jicara“, (plastic bowl), and go back to where you got the water to pour into the toilet. Fill yours jicara and go back to the sink and wash your hands the old fashioned way.

Now I don’t want to scare you. If you are coming to Oaxaca for sightseeing for a week or two, you will not encounter this. But if you’re coming down for more than a month or to live, like I did, you’re definitely going to have to deal with this at one point or another. After a while, believe it or not, it all becomes quite natural. So natural in fact that when I get back to the states I’m sure I’ll be sitting on the china, leaving 5 pesos outside the bathroom door, washing my hands with a bowl of water and filling the bucket in the shower 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this article. Stay tuned for more sure to come.

See you next writing!

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