Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sh*t! This is serious business

WARNING: Do not proceed with this post if you have a weak or fickle appetite.

Nyathi mioro emapielo chieth maduong — Luo proverb.

I don't usually curse, and I'm not in this post too. The translation of the Luo proverb is that 'the child who is sent is the one who piles up big ones. It means the child gets rewarded, usually with food.

Many of us like to talk about food. Nyama choma, chapati na dengu (my favourite), irio na muthokoi, ugali na ka-ugali kadogo, ngwache na sukuma wiki, rabuon gi magira etc, are some of the things that appear on our tables. What happens afterwards is a conspiracy of silence. Let's face it, to munch down a plateful naturally presupposes that at some point it will be got rid of.
That is why I view with deserving seriousness a news item that a toilet conference has opened in New Delhi, India, where participants are discussing the very serious issue of a very basic need. Surely, if food is a basic necessity, toilets must accompany them. Any other way is like trying to stop the Nile from flowing into the Mediterranean.
Today, take your time when you go to say haloo, do so with gratitude. If you are a child from my village, it means you have fed well. If you are a village-urbanite like me, it means you have survived another day with food in your belly. It is not something to take for granted.
In case you are interested, please click here to find out how long you have spent looking at your feet while undertaking the noble business of losing weight without breaking a sweat.

You may want to see the world's most expensive toilet here.
Or the one that beats the new Cold War here.

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