01:39 Sunday 12th August 2018

You haven't lived until...

* A three year old girl wets herself while sitting on your knee.

Twice. On a car journey with half an hour to go. And so, to save the upholstry, and because moving her wouldn't really help anyway, you sit and feel the moisture creep around your right leg until you arrive.

You spend the time using google translate to help you work out how to explain your wetness, in your very basic arabic, when you arrive. Say "Bint Saghiir, Hamaam.", while pointing at the wet patches, and trying to look rueful.

The same three year old girl can't quite manage to climb onto a toilet seat. So she goes into the garden, very neatly and carefully takes down her pyjamas...and does an improbably large poo, next to the swings. In front of everyone.

This might be called lateral thinking.

* You've spent an hour in the morning walking to the local place of worship, locked yourself in one of its cubicles to give yourself a standing-up bed-bath with a cold, wet flannel, then dried yourself before getting dressed with the fleeciest bit of laundry you've brought with you.

Then done the laundry in the sink with a bar of baby soap, while a man behind you fills three 5-litre water bottles from the tap intended for foot-washing.

And meanwhile you keep yourself un-bored by imagining how you'd explain the difference between a Procedure and a Protocol, should an upper-intermediate level student ask.

Current answer: You can have a procedure, a series of steps to achieve a goal, for (say) washing your face - forehead, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, ears, neck. And you can vary the order and the repeats, so long as you get the job done. But certain world religions have a <i>protocol</i>, just for the ears - right ear, insert wet little finger, wiggle around, do three times, repeat for left. Because if you deviate, there's a penalty - imaginary in this case.

Cookery has procedures, chemistry protocols. Calculating tax a procedure, filing it a protocol.

Procedures are defined by pragmatism. Protocols by authority.

* You realise your host has a doctorate, and you have a masters degree...which means The Doctor and The Master are living together.

Just like we always suspected.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Dr Who joke!

    Well, at least your three year old didn't poop on your lap! And she's almost potty trained!