Sunday, January 9, 2011

Roadside relief

Yesterday, I drove to the Bayricher Wald in Germany, after the urge to leave town overwhelmed me. I toted my skis in the mini, hoping to find some trails (I did, after nearly losing hope in sog-inducing drippy weather) and to see some new countryside.

After discovering a roadside ski area, I stopped to pee behind a building. Thinking, I have never peed on the side of the road before as much as I have in Germany. And how maybe it was a good thing. Perhaps even more environmentally friendly. And convenient. Trees are everywhere! (Though a little slim in North Dakota. Maybe a telephone pole would do, as long as I don't gain too much weight.)

Germany doesn't have roadside rest areas. Who rests there anyway? I pee at mach speed and run back to the car. With trees, you can breath fresh air and enjoy the scenery, versus sick public restrooms for which you need to hold your breath to enter. Plus the worry that there could be a murderer lurking in the next stall. Not that I truly worry about that. But I am old enough to remember Gordon Kahl.

Which brings me to the memory of my parents, who, when you said, "I hafta go to the bathroom," they promptly stopped the car on the side of the highway, and we all climbed into the ditch. No one was too small to use the natural facilities. Perhaps this is why Carrie and I now prefer "rustic" campsites, and had no issues with Asian squat toilets. Another reason to say to mom, "Thanks for the good job raising us! We can pee anywhere."

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