Tuesday, 1 December 2009
So we had been here a few weeks and I had explored all the local area, so time to spread my wings and go further afield! There's a Souq bus that leaves the compound, so I though I'd give it a try! Everyone has told me what great deals you can get from there - me + shopping = HAPPY! LOL!
So 8.30 am, kitted out in Abaya, headscarf, drinks and snacks for the kids and a child attached to each hand! We get on the bus, I haven't a clue where we are going or what we are even going to do when we get there, but ah well it's all good fun!
The bus stopped a few times, thank goodness for sitting at the back otherwise goodness only knows where we would have ended up!!! I waited until the engine actually switched off, and based on a educated guess I presumed we were there! After making ABSOLUTE sure that the driver would be exactly here at the exact time I committed to leaving the bus in a strange place responsible for 2 children!!! OK then!........................
Off we go, having to cross a road, which trust me in this country easier said than done!! But we made it! I see lots of shops but I'm not too sure where this Souq that everyone has spoken about is! After a short walk around and some more dodgy roads I see it!
It was great, loads of stalls, REALLY cheap! And plenty of shopkeepers wanting you to go into their stall! But I was firm and strong, 'no, we are just looking thank you!' with a cute smile from me and the kids and we were fine. That was until I heard those dreaded words...............'Mummy! I need a wee!' coming from my little Grace! Ok then love your timing couldn't be better. We are in a market, in a foreign country, with no public toilets, even if there was I have no clue of the language to even recognise the sign!
Nice and calmly I inform my darling daughter that Mummy will sort it! OMG! HOW?! I scan around the outside of the Souq thinking maybe I could get away with a quick drop and lift behind a car or other inanimate object!! But no! Far too many people and far to bright! So the next best thing a toy shop, not to pee in, merely a distraction device. So I asked Grace whilst we were looking at all the toys I had no intention of buying if she still needed a wee. No mummy! Good Good! Until we left the shop, and again 'Mummy, I need a wee!', Oh man what AM I going to do!
Ok Mummy's on the case! Look for man who looks like he can speak English. Found one! 'Do you speak English' 'Yes, Sister' 'Oh thank god!.... My daughter needs the toilet, a wee, my daughter.........' So imagine this conversation being performed with full dramatic action of signs and actions by a woman in full Abaya and headscarf in a middle of a market full of men! How glamorous! The man with a smirky smile points down the lane. Ok then, can't actually see where a loo could possibly be but we will give it a try. Half way down after listening to huge cackles of laughter the men all start shouting 'Sister, sister!!!' OMG do I dare turn around, what's the worst that can happen, I turned, they are all frantically pointing to a building to my left, with a puzzled look, 'here?!' 'Yes!' Ok then........................
Man behind the counter and another with a gun to his side! Oh great where exactly have I gone! 'Do you speak English?' 'Yes, Sister', OK then do I have to repeat the dramatic interpretation of a child doing a wee again, please no! No I didn't he understood perfectly, however he began to lead us down a very dark alley way under the stairs of this building. Holding the kids hands till we can't feel them anymore I felt it only polite to follow the man with the gun! 'In here' he tells us. Thank goodness it IS a toilet. On closer inspection it's a mans toilet! Of course it is, they wouldn't have a women's toilet, there would be no female staff! So now I am locked under the stairs with my two children and a squat pot! try explaining this to a three year old girl!
'No mummy, I don't want a wee!' 'Oh yes you do!!!!!!' to be damned I have faced public humiliation, followed a man with a gun you WILL pee!! LOL! I explain mummy will hold you,Joey offers to demonstrate how HE can do it! Luckily, I stopped him in time! A little boy and a hole in the ground, isn't really a good combination. So holding Joey above the said hole we demonstrate to Grace that it is OK to pee in here! 'No mummy!!!!' OMG! Am I going to have to show here how to do this! This could be embarrassing! After another five minutes of explaining, pleading and begging, she finally gave in and agreed to let mummy hold her over the hole in the ground! Well what choice did she have? I told her we can either stay here all day, we could leave and wet herself or just wee for mummy! This after all was THE only toilet I was going to attempt!
After a total of 15 minutes, a very hot, flushed and embarrassed mummy left with her two children once again attached to her hands, goodness knows what people must have thought we were doing in there!
We continued a nice little walk around the other shops, away from the Souq, as I was probably well known there by this point and was reassured to find the bus in the same place at the exact time it was supposed to be there. We jumped on before it could go anywhere without us!
Rather frazzled, only two little bags of shopping (shameless!) we arrived back at the compound, where we could go to the toilet at our leisure!
But we survived our little adventure! The shops, the language barrier, miles from home and even the hole in the ground!
Narien my darling this is for you
Posted by Ellie at 22:31