Poop Chronicles: When water is not an essential part of life

Here at Let’s Roam Wild, we think poop stories are hilarious, and know that every, EVERY, traveler has one. Submit your own, here!  This is a guest post written by traveler, Moe Salim. Moe currently works, lives and plays in Detroit. This is the story of Moe’s first time meeting his family in Iraq. 

As a 15 year old 1st generation Arab-American living in the United States I never had the opportunity to meet my extended family. Up to this point I had a mother, a father, and two sisters; but this was going to change in a matter of hours as we approached closer and closer to the homeland.

My father and I left Damascus in the early morning and we were on our way to Baghdad, Iraq. 

Although ashes and dust are all that remains of my ancestors’ existence I couldn’t wait to absorb the rich culture they left behind.

Moe living life!

Moe living life!

My father always spoke of Baghdad as the ancient city of Wisdom, where the Golden Age blossomed into a civilization driven by science and mathematics, a place enriched with history from the beginning of time. It was 2002, and I was ready to take on this journey with the guidance of my new acquaintances; my cousins, uncles, and aunts.

However, my first encounter with them was not how I would have imagined. But before I dive into that story let me recap the events leading up to our first encounter, our journey from Syria to Iraq.

We had been driving on the calm vacant desert road for hours with empty stomachs and thirsty mouths. We soon after found a rest stop on the side of the road, but not the usual rest stop you might have in mind. This was a place where men gathered to get a good meal in between their work travels. The food was great, I had never had middle-eastern diner food this tasty. At the end of the meal I reached for a glass of water to wash down the meal; not to mention how parched I was from the unbearable heat. I knew I shouldn’t have had that drink of water but I was dying of thirst and there were no bottles of water being sold at this run down shack of a diner. But I was feeling fine at the moment. After tea we continued with our travel to the city.   

I slept in our GMC SUV for the remainder of the night as we drove peacefully into the silent desert. The next morning, however was not so peaceful, but instead a violent rumble was stirring my bowels. It felt as though I was reliving World War I and II in my large intestine. I yelled to my father to stop at a nearby rest stop, but we didn’t stumble upon any; and miles and miles kept rolling without a toilet in sight. Just as I felt I could no longer hold it in, my father finally spotted a restroom, although it wasn’t quite a restroom but more of an outhouse, but at this point it didn’t matter, defecation was going to happen, no matter the cost.

Moe with family.

Moe with family.

I enter the abandoned outhouse with a disturbing discovery; the outhouse was covered in poop likely from travelers experiencing the very same problem I was experiencing at the present moment. I mean the walls, toilets, the toilet seats, the stall doors, man it was brutal what was done to these bathrooms, but again that wasn’t going to stop me. So, I gladly squat over the toilet and explode the contents of my bowels all over that stall. It wasn’t pretty, but it had to be done.

Probably not a story many can share, but unfortunately this was only the beginning.

Hours later I we finally reached Baghdad and we are welcomed at my Uncle’s home, where I was greeted by at least 30 relatives that I’ve never met. They were all so happy to meet and greet me. They wanted to know about my life as an American, how I lived, what I wore, how I speak, but I wasn’t at all interested in discussing anything because at that very moment World War III was erupting in my stomach and soon out of my asshole if I didn’t get to a bathroom right away.

Remember, I was 15 years old and it was 3am when I met them. It looked as though they were saving this glowing excitement in their eyes and face for 15 years, waiting for the moment to meet the 1st generation Iraqi boy who made it to America. So you’ve got to understand how bad I must’ve felt when I had to abruptly leave them and to spend the remainder of the night clearing out my bowels.

My genius idea is to strip butt ass naked, and plant my feet and hands on the walls like spider man.

But it doesn’t stop there. As I ran to the bathroom I was confronted with a very unusual obstacle that I had never expected. As I enter the bathroom all I see is a hole in the ground. I suddenly thought “is this the bathroom?”, and I responded to myself aloud “no, this couldn’t be the bathroom, there’s no toilet.” I was going to cry. I’ve been a professional pooper for 15 years and I was stumped on how to use this toilet. My father did not in fact warn me about this, you’d think he’d give me a heads up.

Let’s do a quick recap of the current problems I’m being faced with just so everyone can appreciate the entire situation:

I’m sleepy,

I’m hot and sweaty,

I’m thirsty,

I’m dehydrated,

my bowels are on full throttle,

I can’t figure out how to use this 3rd world toilet,

and on top of everything I have generations upon generations of guests awaiting my presence in the living room wondering where the hell I’ve gone.

Back to the story now, so I try squatting down but I realize I’ll be shitting all over my pants, so that’s a no go. Then I try squatting from the opposite side of the hole thinking the angle may be better, but that didn’t look like it was going to work either. I try standing upright. Nope that doesn’t work either. Now, I’m truly praying to God to help make this process easier (my own version of a holy shit), because it’s coming out any minute now whether I’m ready or not and I can feel it.

Moe with family.

Moe with family.


Suddenly a spark of genius floods my head. I’ve finally decided on the best way to relieve my bowels. My genius idea is to strip butt ass naked, and plant my feet and hands on the walls like spider man.

Just to be clear, I am in the air hovering above the hole, my face is facing the ceiling and my ass is facing downward hovering above the hole, and I’m holding myself up like spider man by pushing my feet and hands against the walls.

No meet and greet with the family, no goodbyes, just lots of pooping.

I then finally proceed to align my asshole with the hole in the ground, and I let it rip, all the while my family is sitting patiently in the living room. I felt like I had expelled not only my feces, but also the angels and demons that once lived within me.

That’s how the night ended. I continued that way for the next 4 hours. In the beginning they checked on me every 15 minutes for the first 2 hours. Finally, they grew tired of waiting and they all left. No meet and greet with the family, no goodbyes, just lots of pooping.


Looking for more travel- and bowel-related laughs? Check out Poocano in Peru!


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I'm Emily - a twenty-something female travel-enthusiast - here to serve and inspire you. Need help planning your next trip? Email me at emily [at] letsroamwild [dot] com and tag your own travel pics to share with the world @letsroamwild.

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