I'll never forget my first time arriving in Russia and having that, 'Kayla, you're not in Kansas... er... Canada anymore' moment. We had just finished our preseason tournament in the beautiful country of Lithuania where we were surrounded by nice buildings, delicious food, beautiful weather and normal bathrooms. I had no idea that Russia would be a completely different experience...
It wasn't until we landed in Moscow and boarded the team bus that would be taking us back to Ivanovo (my new home for the next 7 months), that I realized I would need to quickly adjust to my new living arrangements. About three hours into our road trip, we stopped for a quick bathroom break which ended up being one of the most eye opening experience for me. To start, I had to go back to the bus and get my wallet because the lady at the counter informed me that they charged a fee to use the bathroom. It was only 10 rubles (which is the equivalent to about 0.15 USD, so by no means an extravagant price tag) however, I had never had to pay to relieve myself before!
I was then instructed to take some of the toilet paper from the roll there at the front counter. This also caught me off guard, because, why wouldn't it just be kept in the stall? How can you really determine how much toilet paper you need BEFORE you go and do your business? What if I planned on going number one and number two snuck up on me? I'd need more toilet paper with no easy access. You would think this would be the end of the bathroom surprises but it wasn't until I walked into the stall that I was hit with the biggest shock.
When I entered the bathroom, I didn't find a seat or even a toilet. Instead there was just a hole, yes, you read that right, A HOLE in the ground! How do you go to the bathroom like that? And once, again, what if I needed to do number two? This is all fine and dandy for a male, but a female? I've been accustom to going to the bathroom a particular way my whole life. I never expected that traveling to another fully developed country I would have to learn how to use the bathroom all over again. In that moment, I realized just how fortunate, or even spoiled, I am back at home to have the simple luxury of a toilet. It also taught me that in Russia I was going to have to adjust, and QUICKLY if I was going to make it.
Thankfully, I would later discover that not all bathrooms are that minimalistic. Looking back now, my reaction is probably silly but that will always be my, 'I'm not in Canada anymore' experience.
Have you had you're own, "I'm not in Kansas anymore" experiences? If so, leave them in the comment box below.
Thanks for stopping by, and God bless!