Toilet experience can be VERY challenging over on this side of the pond especially for women. Try to do your “business” back at the hotel. Big or small business. If you are on medication which is diuretic (like mine), make sure you time the intake well so that you can do your stuff in the hotel.
Be prepared to bring your own supply of wet tissues/wet wipes, hand gel and some supply of dry tissues. To have a bottle of mineral water is always a good idea.
I tell you why.
Many ablution places are nearby toilet area. That makes the area to be generally wet. Do not expect toilet rolls to be available to you. Or flush system in some cases. Or someone aiming well into the toilet hole. Which is generally squatting toilet. Unless you walk into the malls’ toilets. Which is, again, generally wet. In some places, women toilets are smaller than men’s. Dont ask me why. So, when prayer times come and you are racing with other women to take your ablution, you will find yourself fighting for that space to do it. Never mind the long, sweeping robe that you have to make sure dry and not sweeping some unthinkables off the floor.
Pressing moments require creative solutions. I generally carry a bottle of mineral water to perform simple ablution. Go to one corner of the toilet compound if you can, and perform the necessary stuff. No point in fighting, pushing and making all the other Sisters (and yourself) annoyed.
The wet tissue is important too as the toilets generally do not come with hand wash basins. I also carry a small bottle of hand gel.
My theory is this.
Medina and Mecca receive millions of people from all over the world on a daily basis. With them, they will carry all kinds of ways and culture when they arrive. And that includes toilet etiquette. Or the lack of it. Some do not even have a proper toilet at home, let alone knowing the difference between a shower cubicle and a toilet cubicle. Or how to use a toilet roll when papers are so scarce?
Aiming properly while doing your business might also be a challenge. I still do not have a proper theory for this…