Journal Entry 2 (Flushed Away)


Hiya!!! 😀 

This is the (not-so-long) long awaited Journal Entry! Tada! Please read it! 


Reader’s Digest (October 2009) – Flushed Away


This article is a simple story about how a lady relates of her childhood’s greatest fear – The Outhouse. She finds that the distinct nauseous smell of the outhouse was unbearable and that the lighting was insufficient. She still vividly remembers the night soilmen who would dutifully come before dawn to collect the bucket of waste. Unbelievably, without a single twitch of his nose.

For me, I am only a child who was born in the 20th Century and thus unable to imagine the sufferings of people in the olden days. I have all I ever could need, a modern toilet, private kitchen, latest facilities, those some people never get to enjoy. When I read this story, it triggered many emotions in me, fear, disgust, pity and most importantly, satisfaction. I am considered maybe a preteen but unlike others, I am very timid by nature, afraid of many things, not just creepy crawlies, but also supernatural things. Thus, when I read of the environment of the Outhouse, I could not help but pity them. I would never even dared step into the dark place. Also, to imagine going to the Outhouse at the end of the day, just brings about great disgust.

One other thing that truly touched me was the description of the night soilmen. To say the truth, what are heroes? Those who save people and kill evil but yet uses only the fanciest equipment? I doubt so. True heroes exist in daily life, realistic people. The soilmen are one of them. They do not mind the stink in the buckets they carry back and forth, they do not mind waking up before dawn so that others can enjoy the clean toilets when they wake up. They help make the place better, helping people. I do not think that helping must mean saving people seconds before they die, simple acts of sacrifice is enough to make a whole lot of difference to a person’s life. Can you imagine what will happen without the night soilmen? I sincerely look up to these people willing to take up a job so tiring and heroic. Even though I am grateful to have the latest technologies, it is such a pity that these great people slowly disappear with the advance of technology.


This will be all I am going to write today. Again, the original article is below, take a look!




” In 1966, I was three years old. My family lived in a tenanted room in a house in a kampung. We had the use of a common kitchen and the surrounding grounds. Most of my memories of kampung life are happy ones. The kampung held everything a young child like me could ever want – space, playmates and adventure.

On hindsight, the one thing I would have wished for was a flushing toilet, located inside the house. To the younger generation today, this may appear to be an absurd statement. Don’t all houses have attached toilets?

I was born at a time when indoor toilets that flushed were not the norm. They were considered a great luxury. Proper sewage and sanitation systems were underdeveloped or simply non-existent, particularly in the kampung.

The house I lived in was enclosed by wire fencing. A small gate led to about ten other similar houses within the compound. I used to walk warily out of our gate because just around the corner, two outhouses loomed ominously. We shared them with a few other households.

The outhouses were simple cubicles made of cheap wooden planks. I still remember how the worn-out doors creaked open to reveal a crude hole in the centre of the floor. A metal oval bucket with two handles was placed under this hole. Woe and mess would befall you if the bucket wasn’t properly aligned with the hole. The outhouses had no lights – a permanent darkness greeted all visitors.

It was no wonder that, at my young age, going to the toilet petrified me. Even before the darkness engulfed me, the stench invaded my nostrils. More often than not, my eyes welled up with tears and I retched violently. This agony intensified as the urgency to use the outhouse outweighed my sensory nightmare.

My greatest fear was to visit the cubicles at the end of the day. As there was little natural light, I needed the help of a flashlight to find my way in the monster’s den. By this late hour, the horrible mass sitting in the bucket had reached a peak, literally.

With my short legs, I had to squat in an awkward position to ensure I could carry on my “business” without creating a mess. At the same time I had to be mindful of not allowing my bare backside to come into contact with the gooey mass in the bucket.

Did I mention the flies? Dozens swarmed around my tiny expanse of a butt, creating a most unwelcome tickling sensation. A few would fall prey to waiting spider webs.

Under these circumstances, I considered it a treat when my mother allowed me to use a potty inside the house instead of sending me to the outhouse. The other big toilet treat was being the first visitor to the dreaded cubicles after the night soilman had cleared the laden buckets.

He usually came early, just after dawn. He would replace the used buckets with empty ones, then hook one full bucket over each end of a bamboo pole and carry them off on his shoulders. This unsung hero did all this without a single twitch of his nostrils.

I asked my mother where he went with the buckets laden with our “contributions”. She told me he took them to farms where they were likely used as fertiliser. This answer gave me an aversion to eating vegetables for a long time.


As children, we called the night soilman Sai Apek. It may sound demeaning to modern ears, but it was an honest term of endearment for a man who meant so much to us. He really was a man of immense importance for all of us children with short legs.

Sai Apek and all his colleagues have long since vanished, flushed away into the pages of history by modern indoor plumbing. I would like to meet him one day and say, “Thank you, Sai Apek. You played such a vital role in my life. I miss the sight of you!” It’s all too late now and this will forever remain a regret.

Modernisation has spoiled me. I find myself dreaming of the ultimate Japanese toilet that offers self-flushing functions. It has automated jet streams with regulated hot or cold sprays of water that eliminate the need for toilet paper. There’s even a dryer mode. Each visit to the toilet is a spa treatment complete with music to drown out unexpected, unpleasant sounds and aromatherapy at the press of a button.

Despite such dreams, I have never forgotten the past. Occasionally when I flush my toilet, images of the dreaded outhouses and my saviour, Sai Apek, still swirl through my mind. “


Done for today. 🙂


A Girl Who Wishes To Live In A Fantasy World


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