Friday, March 25, 2011

The One You've Been Holding Your Breathe For....

I was taking my daughter to work in the Eastern suburbs a couple of days ago. (And yes, she still has no car--it remains locked in the city garage!) Maddee was in her car seat, and of course we were chatting about the broken roads and houses as they worsened the further east we drove. Maddee chimed in, I need to go to the toilet.

'Can't you wait sweetie?" says me.
'No, I need to go now.'
'Oh Maddee, we have to at least get to Molly's work.'
'No, we can stop at a blue one or a green one.'

She was talking about portaloos, of course. At four, Maddee was desperate to get into one of those colourful boxes and have a go. I guess the sad fact is that any four year old in this city can, without thought, explain those strange boxes littering the streets. But for her, the thought of using one is exciting.

You think it's because she is little she that she feels that way, right? Well my friend and Dallington neighbor has a PhD in some sort of mathematics (I don't really ask, I mean we're talking mathematics here!). She said she was never so excited about anything as when her portaloo arrived on the street. It's clear you don't have to be four to find portaloos great. Spending a couple of weeks using a bucket over a hole and another couple bagging up the contents of a chemical toilet will turn even the most sensible of person into a fan of the 'green ones or blue ones' sitting on side of the road. At least the city comes and cleans those. (There's that silver lining!)

So, when you come to Christchurch and find yourself stuck in traffic for ages, you don't have to worry, if you have to go it is really easy to find a place to go. Just look for the blue ones or the green ones, and you might be rather excited when you see one.


  1. What a joy to see you finding a vein of humour in what many people would find an intolerable situation. Those portaloos are an unlikely but potent symbol of the human spirit of resiliance and need to re-build what was lost.

  2. A wonderful mixture of humour in a teeny weeny vein of sharp pathos.

  3. Excellent news! The only time Portaloos aren't fun are when they aren't cleaned properly...