Caught Short

This blog is not for the faint-hearted. As Patsy Cline says “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”, and although I can name lots of advantages to being a female bike traveller, there is one main advantage that the blokes have. Weeing in public- how is it that men can get away with it while I’m having to scramble around looking for a suitable bush or tree. Which is bloody difficult (or should I say impossible) when you’re at 5000m/17000ft and you left the tree-line behind several days ago. In fact there is not a hint of greenery to be seen anywhere.

I may have thought that searching for a secluded spot in the Himalayas was a challenge but then we came upon the sprawling urban mass of Eastern China, where on earth could I go when I was caught short? There are no service or comfort stops with public conveniences. And wherever I looked there were people- although what did I expect? I was travelling through a country with a population of almost one and a half billion. At times I resorted to asking a local if I could use their loo- though trying to explain the need to spend a penny to someone who looked at me in complete disbelief as if I was an alien was not easy. When I did manage to get my message across I was prepared for the worst, mindful of some very unfortunate toilet experiences in Africa, however they were always relatively clean. The most interesting part was the fact that all toilet waste goes down a chute and is used on the family veggie patch. Something I’d only read about in books, and was interested to find it’s still happening.


You need one of those wee funnel things (see what I did there?).

Shewee or whatever. You too can write your name in the snow...

Need a wee... try this

 Funny, I wrote about that problem for women on bikes. There's a solution:

Mike Werner