This is a continuation from: What I saw on the four day non-stop Trans Siberian ride from Irkutsk to Moscow
Planning to poo as a topic for a blogpost may sound a wee bit trivial, but on the Trans Siberian, it’s not.
It’s an important event for most people, primarily due to the stark difference between normal stationary land toilets. Hygiene can be an issue at times too.
The toilets for both the Chinese and Russian trains are the Western sit on types, and thankfully they are pretty clean. Toilet paper is also regularly refreshed on the trains, but be sure to bring your own just in case. On both trains the Hopper toilet is used, which means like it or not, your waste gets flushed onto the railway tracks.
The following tips aim to help you with this tricky process , with the goal of helping you get over it with as little fuss and hassle as possible.
1. Remember to eat your fruits and vegetables
The train ride is not all about instant noodles, canned meat and junk food. Be sure to bring some apples, oranges, pears and if possible cucumber to ensure you have a smooth and easy time on the loo. Drink the same amount of water you would on a normal Stationary Toilet day.
2. If possible, plan for action
The attendant cleans the toilets at regular intervals, so be sure to scoot in when he/she is done.
Avoid using the toilet nearing major train stops, or after. Many passengers will be using it, rendering it less dry and clean then it should be.
A big tip – if you feel your stomach churning before a major train stop, pop into the toilet before the train arrives at its destination. Train toilets are locked at major stops for the hygiene of railway stations. (They don’t want poo getting flushed down at the platforms). On the Trans Siberian, border crossings from China – Mongolia – Russia may take a long time (2-3 hours), so be sure to use the toilet before that.
3. Don’t hold it in
Having a bursting rectum is certainly not the best way to enjoy the Trans Siberian trip. Let it all out and you will feel much better. The world will burst into sunshine, and the accomplishment of a simple task can make you feel all so relived and happy.
4. Bring a roll with you (and some wet wipes to be “more clean”)
While most toilets offer toilet paper, it may run out at times and it is always wise to bring your own. After all, you can use as much as you want without feeling a tinge of guilt that your fellow passengers will be left with none. To be (not absolutely, but more clean), use wet wipes – it’s the best substitute I could think of for a bath.
5. Use your imagination
As the train is hurtling through the wilderness at 70km/hr, you may not get use to the rock and sway of a moving toilet. This is where your imagination will come in useful, and put less stress on the relevant organs. Personally, I tried to imagine that I was in a toilet of a five star hotel. With marble furnishings, air-con, spotless dry floor, classical music and a whiff of lemon air refreshner – well, that did the job.
6. Be patient
As much as you would like to get everything out in the fastest possible time, (and return to your berth to blog about the experience), Wait and be sure that your body empties out as much as it can. It’s worth the wait as it saves you multiple trips to the loo. You also get that sense of satisfaction when all is out.
Watch this space for my next post on ‘Getting strangled by a Russian kid, Jee-ma‘.