S: Squatting - sublime to ridiculous
As I confessed with a degree of hyperbole in my first entry A: Amazon Jungle Adventure - why?, "heat and humidity, bugs and butterflies, moths and mosquitoes rank far below the bottom of my list of favorite things, while comfortable beds, hot showers, flush toilets and temperate insect-free environments place way over the top".
But the day came when we rose before sunrise for a very early morning excursion into the Pucate River. The kitchen staff prepared packaged breakfasts for us and they brought along a couple of big containers of coffee. That was my downfall. I should have known better but I downed a couple of mug-fulls of coffee despite knowing that we were going to be "cruisin' down the river" for several hours more.
Needless to say, the time came when our chatty group grew rather silent and the guides, who have seen this many times before, sensed that there were probably many very full bladders on board.
But that got me thinking about the variety of "squatting" set ups I have encountered over years of travels. The most sublime was in the early 1980s on a visit to Japan. Hosted by one of the major Japanese corporations we were taken on a tour of a robotics factory. The very fancy futuristic toilet could actually analyze your urine and report abnormal values. As a biochemist I was quite fascinated. I don't think the concept has widely caught on here.
At the other end of the spectrum were the facilities at a hospital in Shanghai where you had to squat over an open drain - tough to do when dressed professionally in business attire, high heels and stockings.
So many things we take for granted in our first world society are not available elsewhere.