We saw it often enough that it almost became a joke among the team that went to India together. As we rode through the streets of the cities, invariably you would see the words, “No Toilet” and “No Bills” spray painted on the walls separating the streets/sidewalks from whatever was on the other side of the all. The “No Bills” became fairly obvious: you weren’t supposed to stick posters or “bills” of any sort up on the walls.
Now in America, if you saw a sign in a store that said “No Toilet” or “No Restroom”, you’d know exactly what that meant: that there was no public bathroom available for the use of customers. But that’s America…not India.
It didn’t take long at all for us to figure out what the sign “No Toilet” meant. Every time we went out to go somewhere, you would see men relieving themselves against the walls or in a garbage dump or open field. What the signs were saying is, “Don’t go here!” The signs were in English – maybe that’s why so many men seemed to ignore them!
One of the ladies on the trip was the first to really point this out this behavior to us…and it became a joke that she seemed to always be on the lookout for “violators”! We teased her rather good-naturedly about that. But here’s what was strange: I think there was only once or twice that we saw a sign for a public bathroom, and I began to wonder, where do all the women go when they need to use the bathroom? Never did figure that one out…
So, a word to the wise should be sufficient if you plan to go to India: if you see a sign that says, “No Toilet”…it really means, “Don’t go here! Find a piece of wall without that sign painted on it…and go there!”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1884, bull fighting was introduced in the United States at Dodge City, Kansas. Thankfully, it never caught on here.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in hockey, the penalty box is sometimes referred to as the “sin bin.”