Best-selling author of 'Money Power Love', 'The Little Voice' and 'Occupied'.

JOSS SHELDON

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2. THE SULABH INTERNATIONAL TOILET MUSEUM

And so it was, after much wandering across distant lands; amidst the glut of cheap imitations, of national museums, palaces, temples, galleries and UNESCO World Heritage sites; that I came to the one true icon of our world - The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. I mean this place puts even the one-room Tile Museum in Carnelo (Uruguay) to shame for its sheer outlandishness. I had to take photos to prove its existence:

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SOUTH ASIA BLOGS

 

Back in 2007, aged 25, I was in a sort of cul-de-sac. I'd graduated from university with a top degree, but I didn't want to commit to the wrong career. So I went to India to 'find myself' instead.

 

As I travelled I uploaded a series of random blogs to my new MySpace page (remember that?) From the mystical Kumbh Mela festival to Delhi's Toilet Museum, these include a mixture of humour and insight, fact and emotion. I'd like to think there's something for everyone here. I hope you find something you enjoy...

COMMENT ON FACEBOOK Blog - Africa Blog - India PREVIOUS NEXT SOUTH ASIA BLOGS Toilet 1 Toilet 2

I must emphasise one particular word in the title of this great institution. We are not talking of any regional full-of-crap toilet museum here, not even your bog standard national joint (which are ten a penny these days). This is an INTERNATIONAL toilet museum. And international toilet museums need to have principals:

Now for sure this place had its fair share of latrines. One even had a Western-style bowl to sit on. But it had oh so much more than that. It recorded the rise and fall of history’s great toilets. It had toilets of the earliest civilisations, the toilets of kingdoms, empires, and wild boars:

Toilet 3 Toilet 4

To continue the Glastonbury theme of my last blog, here's a picture of a she-pee for all you ladies who need a little helping hand when using a urinal:

And a toilet museum would be full of shit, if it didn't contain its fair quota of toilet humour:

Toilet 5a Toilet 5b

'Surely that must be all this wonderful resource has to offer' I hear you cry. But no! It even had a ‘guide’ (read: a volunteer so dedicated to toilets that he just has to spread the love):

Toilet 6 Toilet 7

And this guide showed me the museum’s pièce-de-résistance. It’s a big load of gas, but its gas with a purpose:

And if cooking from poo is one thing, the real joy of this place is this contraption. You put urine in one end, turn a handle a few times, and voila: you have a cup full of delicious piss-water to go with your diarrhoea smoked meal:

Toilet 8

Note: I did spend the entirety of my visit in need of the toilet, but I didn’t have the courage to ask if they had one.