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I Coulda’ had Class… I Coulda’ been a Contendah.

9.10.2010 | My Blog

Day 2 – The Morning of…

About 15 seconds after my stomach woke up today, I too woke up, but in a much more frantic state. Round One of the Ultimate Title Fight between me and my sleeping bag was about to commence, and no matter how many times I punched that thing off of me, it always seemed to rebound back the next time with a feistier spirit and a stickier zipper. The sure way to guarantee that the zipper on your sleeping bag will eat fabric with every single one of its teeth, is to try and exit that nylon sausage casing in a hurry. Pulling angrily at that stupid zipper, I was sure I heard it make a distinct sound not unlike a muffled, nasal snicker.

Wrestling a sleeping bag while trying to keep quiet so as to not wake Ali, and attempting to avoid touching any surface of that condensation-rich tent was not a simple task when coupled with the fact that my stomach was a roiling intestinal surf. Finally able to bend my leg a slight crook, I kicked off the sleeping bag and searched for my boots. There is something just so unearthly obnoxious about having to jam your feet into outside-the-tent boots on a dewy, tired morning. Nonetheless, having the Pit Toilet Utopia as my destination, on stuffed the boots, and I was free and finally de-tented!

Wandering tight-legged through the bleary maze of stale, waking campers, I headed toward the “toilet” with white roll covertly stuffed up my sleeve. Yes, should anyone see me with a toilet roll it would simply be embarrassing! Here’s something I very quickly learned that frenzied morning: there is no dignity on Kili. Any sort of bathroom adventures are essentially fair game for anyone within earshot. Your only saving grace is the cover of night, if you should be so lucky as to have a 3am bowel emergency. Otherwise, you may as well strap the neon “I JUST POOPED” billboard to your toque. For those that know me well, any sort of water closet discussion is strictly forbidden. If it involves a bathroom fan and/or matches, it’s off limits in the conversation category.

I remember when I had class. When there was a part of me that was still feminine and mysterious, when I smelled of roses and kitten fur and unicorn-blessed rainbows. Those were the days before I went to Kilimanjaro. Gone was the soft, tender mystique. In its place drifted adolescent-boy fart games, and ‘you-have-GOT-to-see-this’ nose-blowing contests. The mere notion of personal privacy becomes laughable as you learn to stone-cold stare down what could once have been considered your pride.

As a woman, I am lucky enough to have some experience with bathroom stranger etiquette. Sure I can ask the lady in the next stall to pass some spare toilet tissue under the partition, but that comes with a nice, veiled anonymity. You sort of shuffle your feet to one side before you ask the next stall stranger for assistance, lest you exit the bathroom recognizable by your shoes. But on Kili, you’ve got nothing but a door-less shack, some overly-loud humming, and the fear that someone won’t hear your overly-loud humming, and walk into the door-less shack while you’re desperately breathing into a (thankfully) scented wet-nap and squatting over a (thankfully) dark hole.  There is no dignity on Kili.

Anyway, without giving any more information that I already have, let’s just say that my brief intestinal crisis was taken care of, and so I stumped back to the tent just in time for tea. Nothing to see here, everything’s fine… carry on, folks.

Let’s get hiking, shall we?