Written by
Brodie Jackson

Shit Happens: Untold Travel Stories

Published on
12 July 2020

There I was, sat by the window on a 4-hour bus ride. Rolling hills painted in every colour of green you could imagine, the road winding up the mountains as the mist started to become denser. Sounds relaxing right? Well, in my case this bus ride was anything but! (no pun intended). My fists clenched so tight that nail imprints were left on my palms. My ass cheeks clenched so tight they could crack a walnut! With four simple words repeating over in my head for the entirety of the trip...

Ahh, travel. So adventurous. So unpredictable. One thing people don’t seem to talk about often when it comes to travelling is the chronicles of adventures (or misadventures) you will have when it comes to anything and everything toilet-related. So, this is one of those stories.

Let me take you back to where this story really begins. It was a beautiful, cool night in the bustling neighbourhood of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. It was my last night in this sprawling city and it was also the month of Ramadan.

After wandering up and down the main street several times debating with myself over where to eat (a decision one shouldn’t take lightly!), a persuasive man who was very good at his job got me inside for their Ramadan fast-breaking all you can eat buffet. It was excellent! So many new flavours and dishes I got to try, I left feeling full and satisfied.

I had a great last night in Kuala Lumpur and the next morning it was time to head to the peaceful highlands. Everything was great. I made it to the bus station and waited for half an hour for my bus. The bus came and everything is still looking great. I didn’t have a worry in the world. This feeling lasted approximately two minutes of the bus pulling out of the station.

You all know the moment I’m talking about. The one where you can feel your organs clinging on for dear life as your anus starts to open, ready to eject what can only be described as the devil, from your system. Yep. And there I was, two minutes into a four-hour bus ride.

Luckily, I had Imodium and Gastro-Stop in my bag (a staple when travelling). And with a civil war raging inside of me, I didn’t hold back. I popped five of those bad boys.

Yes, yes, sit there and judge, “five?! That’s a little excessive isn’t it?”. I panicked, okay! I was trapped on a bus, moments away from explosive diarrhea.

“Why didn’t you just ask the driver to stop?” you may be wondering. My answer is fear. Fear of lifting my butt even a millimetre from that seat. So, I thought I’d take a shit load of Imodium (again, no pun intended), and hope for the best while I waited for it to start working.

Honestly, for the whole four hours on the bus (which felt like an eternity) I couldn’t tell if my chemical butt plug was working. All I knew was that the devil was inside of me, and he wanted out!

After 84 hours on the bus, we finally reached the destination. Luckily it was a very small village. I had my game plan. Map set to the hotel. Passport in hand ready for check-in. Wait for everyone to get off the bus and all bags to be taken out from underneath to optimise the safety of the butt to seat contact. Butt cheeks locked and loaded. Time to GO!

I’m making a dash towards the hotel and by dash I mean one of those “I really need to poop” shuffles where you can only move your legs from your knees down because your butt cheeks are clenched so tight. I could see the sign for the hotel, I could smell freedom!

This was a tiny hole in the wall type hotel. With an air of urgency, I greet the nice old lady with a smile and blurt out “check-in please!”, sliding my passport to her. Now, this dear old lady... Ohh this old lady. Okay, so you know that scene of the sloth scanning groceries in the movie Zootopia? Think that! 16 hours later, she had gotten her glasses on and found the ancient bookings book.

She looks up at me and tells me I don’t have a booking here, I’m at the wrong place. Lord, why are you testing me like this right now?!
This can’t be right… I double-checked this as part of my game plan! I get the email confirmation out and check again. I am in the right place. I show her.

She agrees its the right place but tells me she doesn’t know how they get in the book, her son does that. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and as polite as one can be when they’re about to shit themselves, I ask if I can search for my confirmation in their emails. It’s very clear this dear old lady doesn’t even know what an email is, so I have no choice, I invite myself around the counter to look for it myself.

I do a quick search of my name in the email and find my booking. She is now happily convinced and gives me a key and tells me I can sort out the rest of the check-in with her son later. Yes! My first win of the day!

I rush to my room. I drop my bags on the floor and B-line for the toilet. At last! Finally, I can let the devil out!

I couldn’t poop for five days.

Moral of the story, kids. Two Imodium at once will probably be enough, and never trust the mystery meat at a buffet.

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