When my Indian Musician had to learn how to use a western Toilet – 6 Jan 13

When I was travelling in Germany and Europe in spring and summer 2005, I had quite a full plan already with workshops, lectures and meditations in different cities. I had made the rough plans already while in India and was happy to see the program evolving. When it was clear that I would be pretty busy in that time, I decided to arrange something more for my programs: a live musician.

I had always done program with musicians because music simply creates a wonderful atmosphere. Music can help people relax, to go in meditation or to just feel good. It makes an already nice evening even better. In the past I had often asked local musicians, who had told me about their talents, whether they would like to play in my programs. Now I decided to take along a musician from India, as I had previously done for a program in London or when I had been travelling within India. I talked with my organizers, asked them to write an official invitation letter and thus arranged the visa for him.

This musician had never been out of India and was obviously happy that I had invited him to come and play Bansuri, the Indian bamboo flute, in my programs. There were formalities to be done and although they were not an obstacle and he received his visa without problem, I was already in Germany in that time. I was working in another town and thus asked friends from Mainz whether they could pick up my musician from the airport in Frankfurt. They were musicians themselves and of course they were happy to welcome an Indian colleague in their home! They picked him up and let him stay one or two days with them to have time to arrive in this country – and so that they had time to share music with each other.

The time went by quickly and they picked him up, enjoyed some time with him and finally placed him into a train to Cologne where I was staying at that time. If you meet my friends from Mainz however and ask them about the time when my musician stayed with them, they will laugh and remember their completely inexperienced Indian guest at their home.

They tell that my flute player had asked them for a bucket on the first day after his arrival. My friend thought he might want to wash something in it or was used to shower with a bucket, so she simply gave him one and yes, he placed it into the bathroom. She did not think further about it but the next time, when she had to use the toilet, she entered the room, locked the door behind her, pulled down her pants, sat down on the seat – and immediately jumped up again with a cry of surprise: the toilet seat was completely wet! He had not understood how a toilet flush works and had filled buckets of water to pour them into the toilet, soaking the complete bathroom along with it! This story, accompanied by my friend’s vivid depiction of what happened, always causes laughs around a table!

Well, they made sure my friend would not float further people’s bathrooms by explaining how a toilet flush works. That may seem a small thing to learn but it is definitely important for the comfort of the people who sit on the toilet after you!

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