Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Water Closet Comics
“Drug test, Ma’am? Drug Test, Ma’am?” shouted the small Filipino man as we walked up the narrow stairway in front of us. We could barely make it to the top of the stairs due to his excessive desire to help us….. in expectation of money for his services.
My fellow missionary friend and I were confident that we could find our own way. This was unlike any western facility used for drug testing. The narrow, dark stairway was dirty and reeked of unfamiliar smells. It was evident that the building, like most in the Philippines, was once nice about 100 years ago. We entered a small room with a few tables and explained our desire to have a drug test in order to obtain our drivers license in the Philippines.
Of course, with any drug test the obvious is required, a urine sample. On any other day this would have been an easy task, however, communication had been misinterpreted that day between my friend and I. I didn’t drink enough water to complete the task at hand. In the back corner of this room was a door which led to where the specimen would be given.
I encouraged my friend to go first, as I needed to drink additional water. In and out she went and now it was my turn. I petitioned her for prayer, because….. well….. the urge was not there.
Inside this small room was a small porcelain bowl with a hole in it. You would almost mistaken it for a western toilet IF….…..it was bigger, had a lid, a water attachment on the back, water in the bowl to cushion the fall and a handle to flush it away. Basically, everything was missing except the bowl and the hole. In the corner was a trash bin. There was no faucet to wash the contents down the hole or to wash your hands.
I stood and looked out the small window praying that God would help me to produce this specimen. Nothing. Well, nothing but an urge to do the number two. So, I thought…. “Maybe if I do number two, then that will cause me to relax and eventually offer the specimen needed to complete this dreaded process.” So, I used the bowl with the hole. As any foreigner knows, you always carry your own toilet paper, because it’s not provided in this country and you never put your toilet paper down the bowl, always in a trash bin.
Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my attempt, but I felt better, as we always do, after number two.
As I stood up and turned around, I noticed that I had a HUGE problem!!! Apparently the hole in this bowl was not large enough to accommodate the rice that I had eaten that day. What is the deal? Do Filipino’s have small number two balls that fit in the hole? I’m not a Filipino, I have American size ones that don’t fit down the Filipino holes. What am I going to do??? Crap!! “Crap” is right!! A huge load of it in this bowl and nowhere to go!! What was I going to do?
I had already been in the room for ten minutes when I heard my friend say, “Khristina, are you okay in there?” “Ummm…..yeah. I’ll be out in a minute!” I yelled. The only resources I had to work with here were a trash bin and well, my hand. That’s right, my friends, sometimes you find yourselves in situations where you have to make decisions that are not right in any culture. I reached down into this Filipino bowl and moved my leftover processed rice into the trash bin.
After returning to my friend and drinking more water, I was able to complete the drug test. As I shared my experience with my friend, she laughed and said, “Khristina, you truly are a missionary.” Two weeks later, eight hours of waiting, and a clean drug test, we both obtained our Philippines drivers license. :o)
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