Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have a very embarrassing problem that I need to resolve before I go on a three-
month trip. I recently inherited a large sum of money that will enable me to fulfill a
lifelong dream of travelling extensively in the Middle East. For me that means
more than just visiting Israel as a tourist, which I’ve done several times. I want to
volunteer in various peace schools because I committed to a non-violent solution,
as difficult as that may seem. But I’ve had a medical condition since birth that
surgery has not been able to correct. I sometimes need a bathroom immediately,
as in right away, now! I’ll be staying in places where a private bathroom is an
unheard-of luxury and I don&'t want to walk around with soiled clothes. I don&'t want to forgo the trip or to disclose too much to my hosts. Short of packing lots of
Depends, you have any good advice?


Dear Traveler:

I have a simple solution that may or may not be feasible: rent a porta-
potty in each city or, failing that, get an old-fashioned chamber pot
and some lime or other smell-reducing substance you can sprinkle
over the contents until you can empty it into the communal toilet. It
may be a little embarrassing but easily enough explained by diet
changes and travel.

Short of that, you may need to change your plans for where you’d
planned to stay, even if that reduces your on-the- ground access to
local culture. That may be a hard choice, but short of a chamber pot or
medical miracle it may be your best option.