Around the World in 80 days: Day 9, Solids.

Everywhere I look in the charming town of Onishi I see monumental rocks for sale.  Many of the houses here have lovely “stonescapes” intermingled with trees and shrubs, neatly trimmed.  This place is known for a beautiful green rock and I often see it paired with another unusual red stone at these stone markets.  But this post is not about stones.

Do y’all KNOW what happens to one’s digestive system when you travel?  I didn’t.  This isn’t my first time traveling internationally either.  Is my memory so short that I can’t recall a previous time in my life where I didn’t poop for 5 solid days?  (By the by, this might be another post without many pics. You want pics you sick bastards?  Fine.  I’ll see what I can find, but you’ve been advised against it.)

On my second night in Tokyo I found it amusing that I was actually awakened in the wee hours by my body telling me, “Hey, we have an appointment with a singing toilet.”  Jet lag had my body believing it was 10am, when in Tokyo it was 12am the next day.  (Don’t try to figure that out.)  Pooped, went back to sleep.  All good.  (Envision a poop-free bed.)

Fancy Japanese toilet controls.  Bidet, music, dryer…

It would be 4 days in Onishi before it hit me that I hadn’t pooped since Tokyo.  Hunh.  Something new to worry about.  One more day goes by and then I start searching iamnotadoctorbutletmetellyouhowtofixyourproblem.com.  I’ve already tried many of the suggestions for unstopping yourself and I’m not in any pain and I don’t feel nauseated, so my concern is lessened slightly.  Though, like any responsible middle-aged adult, I share my thoughts about my inability to poop with the younger residents out here.  They are good sports.  Gotta prepare for when I’m older and my turds become daily conversation.

So… where exactly does this poop hang out when you’re all backed-up?  I’ve stabbed my belly with my fingers and I don’t feel anything there.  I’m still hungry… so it doesn’t seem like I have food piled up in my stomach or esophagus.  Prodded my intestines.  Nope.  But surely that’s where it would all be, right?  Keep in mind that we are looking for at least 15 meals, maybe up to 20.  Where. Did. They. Go?  You should know that I am pooping regularly now.  SO RELIEVED.  But… I was expecting a poop so monumental that when unraveled it would easily be longer than my Civic coupe.  Gargantuan deuce = nowhere to be found.  It would seem that I am more likely to eat raw squid than I am to release the Kraken.  The now regular poops are on the smallish side so I’m left truly puzzled… and my concern is back.

I mean, I’m literally full of shit now, right?  Did it all disperse evenly into my muscle tissue and blood cells?  Am I, Sue Anne Rische, now a certain percentage of dookie and water?  Jeez – will it ooze from my pores?  What about my breath?!

Or has it concentrated in a specific part of my body?  My hands are swollen and I can hardly get my wedding ring on, making this a distinct possibility.  Even more alarming is what I discovered today when putting my sandals on.  WTF happened to my ankles?  What used to be bones and defined veins is now taught, sausage-y skin over my feet and CANKLES.  What, the actual, fuck.  Well, at least I know where all that poop went.  Japanese people might want to consider letting me keep my shoes on when I enter their homes.

In all seriousness, I am trying to remain calm.  My new friends out here are convinced that it’s dehydration and I think they are right.  I just finished a glass of water and I’m going to do better hydrating for the rest of the trip.  Still planning to lose at least 16 pounds in one sitting though.

Love,  ~S

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