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Let’s face it; when you are living abroad, you are bound to encounter some unusual experiences every now and then. Therefore, I have decided to compile a handy list of do’s and don’ts if you ever find yourself in the situation I did whilst on my year abroad in Moscow.
*Caution* the following content is not for the faint hearted or those who may be eating at the time of reading this. You have been warned.
Foreign Situation: Stepping in Human Poo
Completely freak out and go on a tweeting frenzy
After being transfixed on the spot and starring at my flip-flop for a whole of two minutes, I ran out of the toilet to take refuge in my room. As it was half three in the night, I could not let out a scream (although inside I was howling), so I did the next thing possible; rant on Twitter. Complete with caps locks and exclamation marks, I unfolded my drama to the cyber world. Feel free to check my tweet history for yourself, (located on the right hand side of this page) and while you’re at it, give me a cheeky follow.
Nevertheless, after a few tweets I soon realised; a) my followers probably did not want to read about all the gory information b) it still hadn’t solved the fact that I had poo on my flip flop.
Freak out again and try and call all your contacts on Skype
Yes I do realise that this is increasingly making me sound like a drama queen. Let me assure you that usually, I am a very tolerant, level headed and mature person (not 100% true) but incidents of the toilet variety, are my worst nightmare. Besides, how would you feel if in the comfort of your own four walls, you had managed to step on someone else’s excrement?
Anyway, after deciding that tweeting was not enough, I proceeded to call my parents and friends on Skype. My parents did not pick up and my best friend was not too pleased that I was disturbing her busy, final year of uni life with such a story. Again, I was acutely reminded of the fact that no one really cared and I STILL had poo on my flip flop.
Try to guess who the culprit was
We have no pets and apart from me, there are only two other people living in the flat. One is my Russian landlady who is in her mid 60’s and the other is her 45 year old nephew. If you put that into consideration then trying to understand this episode is something you will neither be able to nor want to.
Calm down and tell your host
You know you are putting your Russian to the test when you look for the word “poo” in the dictionary (surprisingly there isn’t one, so I had to go with faeces “fekali”). My oral teacher would have been proud as I explained to my Russian landlady that there was “something on the floor”. Except in my haste to tell her, I ended up saying there is “someone” on the floor. Nonetheless, she eventually got the picture and went to inspect the scene of the crime.
Quick note: make sure at this point that you DON’T stand and watch your host clean up the mess as this may leave you feeling slightly nauseas.
She was ever so kind as to wash my flip flop as well. Whether I will ever use it again however, is another matter.
Laugh at your experience
I went to bed vowing to never use the toilet again. However, by the next day due to necessity more than anything, I soon got over this. I also found the funny side of things, hence why I was able to write this blog post!
By Lola Lawal
If you want to read more about Lola’s Year Abroad in Moscow, read her blog here: www.moscowmusings.wordpress.
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