Tag Archives: self sufficiency

The House at the End of the Garden

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When I started looking to buy a house in Bulgaria I knew that an inside toilet was certainly not a given. None the less imagine my dismay, when on viewing this house I discovered that, not only was the toilet outside, but it was a squatty.

I was reminded of a high school trip to Italy that was something of a teenage disaster from the get-go. Firstly, my best friend and I were given the dubious distinction of riding in the same carriage as the staff supervising the trip, thus effectively quashing our plans for all kinds of late night high jinx. The call of nature gave us eventually provided us with an excuse to break free of our stuffy confines, only to be confronted by several of our travel mates contemplating the yawning chasm between train cars that had to be negotiated in order to get to the toilets. To cut a long story short a fair few of us couldn’t make the leap and opted to cross our legs all the way to Milan. I can’t say how far that actually was, other than it is A Long Way, and something only a teenage bladder would consider possible.

Once we arrived in Milan there was a stampede to the WC’s where a rather stern woman asked us if we wanted ‘to sit’ while offering us a sheet of toilet paper. Gaping in confusion, and at risk of holding up the queue, we were quickly herded in the other direction where on pushing open the stall doors were confronted with a hole in the ground. Never having seen such things we promptly high tailed it back to the coach waiting to take us on to Ravenna, unrelieved.

Yes, well did I remember that trip when I first looked at the privy. But, as all the other boxes were ticked it would have been foolish to pass up this house based purely on its toilet facilities, or lack there of. Also, the agent assured me all could be put to rights in about four days at a very reasonable cost. “Good” I thought “because I can’t use that!” But suddenly it seemed ridiculous to think that I couldn’t use a hole in the ground. Would rather not, maybe. Would REALLY rather not – but couldn’t? There and then I decided that until I conquered my fear and loathing of the dreaded squatty it would stay.

I have to say there was nothing nasty or unpleasant about it. It didn’t smell bad or have any other unwholesome surprises, but I quickly discovered its use is an acquired skill and not as easy to adopt as one might imagine. However, having left myself no other option, I soon overcame my dislike, distaste and distrust of my humble squatty.

Nearly two years on my bathroom is still awaiting new tiles and decorator touches but, I’m pleased to say, that in pride of place it has a fully functioning, sit down, flushable toilet.