When I was young my family camped in a huge World War II surplus canvas tent for 6. My dad and mom were on one side and my sisters and I on the other. We traveled the country this way from 1957 to 1965 when we transitioned to the comfort of a Ford Econoline camper van conversion.
My dad would intone “close your eyes” and being dutiful daughters, we would comply. He would dress and exit the tent or camper, giving the rest of us privacy to then get up and going. Years later, in a way too frank discussion with my mom, I also learned that adult activities went on a few feet away from my slumbering body.
That is the closest I can relate to what I realized is pretty normal in India. There is no privacy as we know it. In fact, it is beyond that. There is no CONCEPT of privacy as we know it.
The family we visited in the poor section of Agra sleep four or five to a small room. They share two small hole-in-the-floor toilets with water hose connections for bathing. I suspect those children have a lot better concept of “adult activities” than I did at their age.
And this guy was not unique by any means. I’m just sort of glad I never noticed anyone defecating in public.
May 4, 2014 at 5:45 am
I love the comparison you made at the beginning of this post. I often wonder how the pioneers did it with such tight quarters – especially on the boat. I am a very private person when it comes to that – but then I remember Roland and I doing it in the van only inches away from the tent where our boys were.
May 4, 2014 at 7:07 am
When I see something I don’t quite understand, I search for something I have experienced in order to relate. I think it makes it easier also for others, as it triggered your own memory. Glad you enjoyed it.
May 3, 2014 at 8:08 am
Beth – Somewhat interesting, but certainly not your best!
May 3, 2014 at 8:10 am
Not ready to write the one on Hinduism that is working in my head. Hopefully that will meet your standard. Yet, Milt, this issue of public urination is also of issue in every American city with a homeless population…maybe I could have sequed into that discussion but it’s too early in the day.