Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Public Urination

A few months ago, I was monitoring one of my projects in Accra, walking from shop to shop to sit in on interviews. The sun was hot, so I drank lots of water, then had to urinate. It's totally cool in Accra to pee facing a busy street out the leg of your shorts (don't know why, but that's the preferred technique, rather than dropping drawers). So rather than seek a latrine/toilet, I paused next to a wall, thinking, "Well, I'm only exposed from one direction..."

So, of course, a gaggle of schoolchildren emerged from that one direction, led by their dotting grandmothers. One of the grandmothers shook her head at me and clucked, "You come here to learn, but what you learn is to pee in the street".

One year on, I'm learning to note which way the wind blows before lifting my shorts.

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