Botswana’s urinals—Project LOU . . .
My 10-day stay in Botswana in 1985 was at once professionally productive, entertaining and educational, fruitful and frustrating. I was frustrated by the ever present fleas and swarms of flies and other flying insects, the stench of the open market, the unpaved thoroughfares in the city, and particularly by the heights at which urinals were affixed to the walls of men’s restrooms at the Holiday Inn complex where I was housed.
Allow me to explain:
I could find no statistics for the average height of adult male Botswana natives, but from personal—and close up—observation during my stay in that country, I estimate their average height to be at least six feet—72 inches or more. I concluded from my observations that even boys and girls in their mid-teens tend to equal or surpass the height of the average adult American male—that worthy tops out at five feet, nine inches.
As one might reasonably expect, the installation of urinals in Botswana, or any other country, would and should be accomplished by professional plumbers. Get the picture? Urinals in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana in which I spent 10 days in 1985, were therefore installed at a height acceptable to males native to that area. Given the fact that I am a mite short—so to speak—of the average height of the adult American male, just consider how short I would be—again, so to speak—of the height of adult males in Botswana. I’m sure you get the picture now.
In spite of the disadvantage posed by misplaced urinals, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Gaborone, and I found imaginative ways to overcome any disadvantages that I faced—once more, so to speak. Should the opportunity ever arise I would happily visit that city again, only this time with the hope and the expectation that enough vertically challenged immigrants had entered the country, legally or otherwise, to justify Project LOU: Lowering of the Urinals.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
More highlights of my trip are in the works—stay tuned!