Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The WC

In the US the “OC” has a connotation of sunny southern California. Here the WC means something very different. Try as you might, you can’t avoid using the “water closet.”

That is the generic term for bathroom and anytime there is a write-up in the files about the bathroom and how some detainee won’t come out they always describe it as the WC. Here’s a picture of the wonderful array of the WCs out at the courthouse. Someone decided they should put up signs designating some for US ONLY and some for ICO ONLY (Iraqi Correction Officers). They also designated one as a “female.” I heard one of the girls say they hung some air freshener in there. Honestly the cleaners do a great job of servicing them regularly so even though it sits in the baking sun all day they don’t smell too bad.

Why are you sharing all this Ted? Well the main reason for this blog is to show you the Arab version of the WC. Here’s a pic of the inside.

You can see that they don’t have a seat; instead they have places to stand. If you can visualize it – they don’t sit down. They step up and then squat. When we were in Baghdad with all the mud, I kept seeing mud all along the sides of where you sit (next to the seat flap) and was wondering what “Phenom” was standing above the opening with his muddy boots instead of sitting or using the urinal. Eventually I figured it out. It was some local who did what he always does. Stand up high and squat.

While this entire subject may be a little too graphic for you…just imagine the back-splash from that height?

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about over here, they put up a sign in the D-FAC about Venomous snakes in the area- and that we should be careful. Great.

Speaking of critters. Brandon and I took some pics of a beetle we found today. They didn’t turn out very well. He (the beetle) was fast and trying to get a close-up wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. (That’s Brandon’s hand BTW).

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