Saturday, April 8, 2017

Career Change To Toilet Cleaner

YEARS AGO, I wrote a missive on toilet etiquette when NV Colleague shimmers up to me and whispers: “I always see that thing (toilet brush) but, I thought it was for Cleaner to use.” I promptly put him on the persona non-grata list to my home. And the irony was, he was not malo - as in just off the bus from deep in the districts, but a long-term Kampala resident. 

Unless you go to the bigger establishments that have respectable toilets, your average kafunda, is not going to have a toilet that you can take mother to.

I frequent Chogm Pork Joint in Bunga for obvious reasons. Though I have not asked the owners, I presume they gave it said name because of err, - something to do with the Chogm conference a few years ago?

Chogm Pork Joint, is made up of five bufundas - each competing for Customer and each challenging to see who can play their TV or music system the loudest. Apart from that, the other thing they have in common, is when you ask Waitress where the toilets are, the answer is generic – “You go behind.”

Going behind, there is a dilapidated building that was once a house – better still a muzigo, mounds of rain and pee beaten sand and further down, the toilets that reek of pre-Chogm era urine. The smell of ammonia in the toilets is so strong that, Customer, doesn’t make it into them. Men ‘draw patterns’ the mound of sand with their pee, while women make do with peeing at one of the entrances to the dilapidated muzigo. Of course, there is no water for washing hands or, a mirror to look at to make sure that one’s face is still all dolled up before returning to the kavuyo of the competing TVs and music systems.

What perturbs though, are the larger establishments. I was at Serena Hotel (Below) for a function and getting to the toilets, all the urinals are occupied. Not wanting to wait plus an urgent need to attend to a running nose, I opted to use a cubicle. The only cubicle available was not in the best shape and was tempted to believe that NV Colleague had been the last person to use it and had neglected to use the toilet brush. Furthermore, the floor was littered with toilet tissue.

Anyway, I had my pee, blew my nose and flushed which, didn’t do much except the water, toilet tissue and whatever else rose to the brim of the toilet. Coming out, Elderly Gentleman was waiting patiently to use it. As he walked in, I distinctively heard him exclaim – “Naye gundi…” I didn’t hang about to hear the rest because I fled.

Back at the function and as Navio superbly did his thing on stage, I overheard a conversation going on, on the table behind me. It went along these lines.

Chap: “Some people need to be taught how to use the toilet. The man before me, left the place in a terrible mess that I wonder what kind of home he comes from. But don’t look now, there he is on the table in front of us.”

Woman: “Are you sure – That’s TB, the man who writes.”

I glanced round at them and he quickly shied away. I wanted to tell them it was not me. That I found the toilet in that condition, but they got up and went to mingle and to presumably tell the people they were mingling with, that it was I who had messed up the toilet.

Since then, whenever I am resigned to using a cubicle, I have become a ‘toilet cleaner’ and clean up whatever mess the person before me left, so I can avoid a repeat of the ridicule I got at Serena. 

Pictures: Internet, New Vision