When traveling, there are those stories that are never told. No, not the ones about what happened in Bangkok or Berlin or Las Vegas — those always get told, often with “my friend” or “this guy I know” substituted in place of the slightly more embarrassing “me” 😉
I’m talking about those crazy embarrassing stories. Those, for lack of a better phrase, travel fucktastrophes.
Today is my seven year nomadiversary. That’s right, it’s been 2,557 days since I quit my job and embarked on my global adventures. And in my tradition of doing an annual evaluation post on this sacred day, this year I’ve decided to start a new series here at the HoliDaze chronicling the stories I’ve never told.
Here’s the thing: everything, no matter how unpleasant or unfortunate, eventually becomes funny in hindsight if given enough time. Except rape. That’s never funny. Please fix yourself India.
So here we go…
Travel Fucktastrophe #1: The Time I Shit Myself At Immigration
Everyone always tells you to act normal at immigration. Especially if you happen to be smuggling something. Just act normal. It’ll be okay.
Several years ago I was doing a land crossing into a country which will remain anonymous. (It was in Central America, but that’s all the info you’ll get.) I’d been feeling a little nervous on the bus all afternoon however I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. I mentally checked and rechecked everything that was in my bag, making sure there was nothing in my backpack still that could get me in trouble if they decided to x-ray it or search it. Nothing. So why do I have butterflies in my belly?
Eventually the bus pulls up at the border and everyone shuffles off. I retrieve my backpack and join the immigration queue, still unable to ease this weird feeling I have.
10 minutes goes by. I’m finally nearing the front of the line. Suddenly I feel the need to fart. I fake a look backwards to slightly re-position my body and discretely pass my gas to the side rather than dust the lady behind me…
Only it wasn’t a fart. I suddenly feel a warm wet mess over my posterior and suddenly realize: holy fuck, I’ve just shit myself. In public. In the f’ning immigration queue of all places.
I feel it starting to slide down my thigh as I quickly exit the queue and rush off in search of a restroom. There! Only a few yards away. Hurry hurry!
I get into the restroom (probably the nicest word anyone has ever used to describe this foul-smelling shack) and thankfully it was empty. Rushing into a stall I strip off my shorts and boxers. Toilet paper…none! I grab a shirt from my bag that I suddenly decide I no longer want. “Hurry hurry, you have to get through immigration and back on the bus!” is all I can think.
Wet naps…yes, two small individually sealed ones I’ve been carrying around in the side pocket of my backpack for months. Clean, clean, clean, hurry, hurry, hurry!
Okay, legs clean enough for now. Boxers, trash. Shirt, trash. Shorts…I like you. And that stain can be washed out. I pull a plastic bag out of my backpack, tossed them in there, tied a knot and threw it into my backpack. “Well, that will stop them from searching any deeper in my bag” is the only thought that can even remotely ease my mental anguish at myself, a grown adult and partially functioning member of society, just having shit myself in the immigration queue.
Exit the stall. Bathroom is still vacant, good. Small miracles. Wash my hands real fast then back to the line…hurry!
And pretend like nothing happened.
New Travel Fucktastrophes will be published soon. Not right as they happen, but shortly thereafter as the embarrassment dies down a bit. 😉