The Golden Throne
After recent road trip, I have become convinced that the elite and wealthy of Saudi Arabia simply do not use public toilets nor do they travel any great distances in a car.
Why make such a statement you may ask?
Because consistently when traveling either East to West or North to South the conditions of the public toilets at wayside places where one would stop are atrocious and among the filthiest I have seen in my life. I was going to post a photo taken with my mobile phone camera but I decided it was actually too distasteful to publicly post.
Toilet attached to a mosque.
For a rich country, not much time, effort, or interest is spent on public facilities. The majority of public toilets are connected with a mosque. Think about it, it is typical to wash and ensure one is clean (make woodoo) before praying in the mosque. Yet even the individuals preparing for their prayers must walk on floors that are not only dirty and covered with filth but usually have 2-3 inches of water amassed on the floor as well. Now imagine that scenario if you are also a woman wearing an abaya and trying to squat over a “two stepper” toilet all the while having to watch just where you do place your feet because of all the filth and garbage and waste all around. I find this appalling.
However, recently I heard of the alternative taken by one expat woman which I believe has simply gone too far.
During this woman’s travels and seeing the pitiful condition of the public toilets adjacent to the masjid (mosque), instead of attempting to use the toilet, she actually went in to the empty masjid and relieved herself on the carpeted floor. This to make a point about conditions of public toilets, seeming not to comprehend how most would react to her actions.
As a result, it has convinced me that the elite and wealthy have likely never been anywhere near these public toilets. I further understand why people may choose to fly from Riyadh to Damman instead of drive the 3-hour trip. The worse is going from Riyadh to Mecca. While one can have an enjoyable car ride with the changing scenery, again the public toilets defy the imagination.
It really saddens me that better care is not taken for the provision of clean public washrooms. I would gladly pay a few token riyals each time I used one to know that would ensure their maintenance and cleanliness. I think back on the public rest stop areas in the States which would not only have clean western style toilets but many would also have rooms with showers as well.
I have traveled to many countries and Saudi Arabia is right at the top of the list of countries with the worse and dirtiest public toilets along the highways.
In: Other Middle East
Tags: Saudi, Arabia, toilets, women, filth, sanitation, wealth, unsanitary
Location: Saudi Arabia (load item map)
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