|The walking toilet
We got our visa for Iran early in the morning and were happy to leave Erzurum! Before heading towards Iran we headed north to the Turkish-Armenian border to visit Ani, the ruins of what once was a big city that rivalled Constantinople.
When we returned from the spectacular site ‘Ani’, we had to find a hotel as camping was out of the question due to smugglers in the area. We had two options according to the Lonely Planet; a hotel that needed some paint on the wall or a middle class hotel for 20 dollars or so. We couldn’t be bothered whether the walls were painted or not. Elles had a look at the rooms in the hotel Asia and thought it was ok. Yes, the walls needed a new paint job and the sink was taped together with ducktape. But the beds were ok and what else did we need?
We checked in, paid the room and settled in. I, Michel, was in desperate need of a wee and ran to the communal toilet. Oh my god… (If you have ever seen the movie trainspotting and can remember the toiletscene, well multiply this by ten). I had to do it, I had to wee and walked to the toilet which was on the left and the brownish looking bathtub on the right. The leftovers of previous visitors were everywhere. When the awful smell appeared of these leftovers I nearly had to vomit. Elles came running towards me when she heard my sounds of music but I ordered her not to come and see. As soon as I was finished I ran. When we left the hotel for a dinner I asked the manager to have a look at the toilet and made wiffy gesture. At first he did not understand but when I made ‘a very bad smell’ gesture he ran upstairs.
When we entered the hotel after dinner the manager came to us and asked us to come have a look at the toilet. Toilet not okay, he said. Yeah we noticed. He opened the door and to our surprise the toilet was gone. We had another look and noticed the toilet had ‘walked’ to the right side of the bathroom. What was even more shocking is that the first place it had stood had no sewer opening. The smell was so horrendous that we nodded an okay and ran to our room. We felt disgusted and dirty. Tomorrow we will sleep in the bus again!