the sad, but increasing demise, of the Goan pig toilets

#1 Nov 16th, 2002, 21:04
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  • -m2- is offline
Long a tradition, and ecologically very logical, the Goan 'pigger' is going the way of the dodo. A conventional looking outhouse, with a little opening in the back to allow pigs to avail themselves of a warm meal seems to be a victim of prissy tourism. Of course, it often was necessary to keep a stick handy to keep the eager ecologists at bay (as a Dutch friend once remarked, if you let them, they'll suck the xxxx right out of you'), but this was a small price to pay for a hygenic solution without the humiliating human intervention of 'sweepers' employed in the rest of village India. The resulting rage for semi-flushing toilets and septic tanks with their mosquito-friendly vent pipes has been an explosion (so to speak) of mosquitoes, some bearers of malaria.

As an added note, the squeamish should still avoid the famous Goan pork sausage and other pork specialties as there are still a fair number of the 'old school' appliances around.

#2 Nov 17th, 2002, 02:50
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  • indiamike is offline
M2 are you in Goa now....sitting under the sun drinking a cold one?

One thing I alway regret was not being privy to using a pig toilet. I always heard stories about them and even after a few weeks in Goa I couldn't find one (well I didn't go around asking).

Maybe the pigs have migrated farther south, you know when "pigs can fly".

Pig toilets, clay chai cups, banana leave plates, etc....etc...all going the way of the Dodo. What's next?

(the other white meat)
#3 Nov 17th, 2002, 20:36
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  • -m2- is offline
arrived in Goa a few days ago after 4 days straight travelling to get here -- just starting to 'wind down' a bit now.

couldn't find a pig toilet? wow, there are still a lot of them here in Arambol, at least in the part of the village the fishermen live and many tourists rent rooms and houses. It is a sort of unorganized maze of houses scattered in a coco-nut grove well back from the beach where pigs and chickens roam free. Used to be the same around Candolim-Baga, but don't really know what's up there now with all the new hotels and guesthouses that have been built in the area in recent years.

the clay cups and banana leaves were also very practical and eco-friendly -- you still get some snacks on the trains wrapped in leaves, but I guess they're not used as dinner plates anymore. Come to think of it my last train meal came in a styrofoam carton.

I still remember when shops used bags made of glued, or maybe just folded, newspapers rather than plastic and it seemed that just about everything was recycled. For those concerned about plastic bottle litter, my landlord has an interesting answer as he passes them on to a distiller of Goan moonshine and they wind up across the border in Mahashastra filled with booze.


(and the Kingfishers going down fine, much improved with a squirt of fresh lemon )
#4 Nov 18th, 2002, 00:15
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  • maree is offline
When in Vagator in 1995, I was paranoid when going out to the clearing at night that I'd stand in someone's s**t. Took me a few days to realise that the pigs were allowed to wander free for a very good reason.
#5 Nov 18th, 2002, 00:37
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  • Midnite Toker is offline
Pigs are I think one of the main reason the beaches in Goa do not resemble beaches in other states of India.

I can remember carefully selecting my bathing spot between the turds on Gokarn's main beach, only to see an old chap hunkering down on the tide line opposite me once I was in the water.

It's a shame the pig toilets are on the way out, though.
#6 Aug 31st, 2003, 06:58
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  • wonderwomanusa is offline
Might as well bump up an ancient thread; I am so sad to know that the piggie toilets are gone.

Seems that "progress," in India, is taking them away from sound recycling of biodegradable containers and leading to the plastics that will be with us forever. Are they also selling disposable diapers in the cities?

I still remember when shops used bags made of glued, or maybe just folded, newspapers rather than plastic and it seemed that just about everything was recycled.
Also paper cones of old correspondence from banks and school notebooks, tied 'round with thread -- containers for chapatti flour (atta) and for dahl from the market. And for chana with onions on the trains.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#7 Sep 22nd, 2003, 20:38
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  • Bryan is offline
God...The Pig Toilets

Nothing can make you move as fas as a snout looking for its meal as you squat....Hahahahaha...Magic

Can't believe they are disappearing...
You ever feel some of the special quirkier things of India are slowly disappearing.

Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that),
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree an a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world, o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.
- Burns
#8 Sep 23rd, 2003, 04:28
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  • wonderwomanusa is offline
I suspect that in these days of satellite TVs, all those quirky things will quickly go the way of piggie toilets and little clay chai cups. <sigh>
#9 Sep 23rd, 2003, 05:07
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
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  • chrissawka is offline
welcome to your home away from home m2.
i read bout them last year but while i spent over a week in total at the beginning and end of my trip in goa...............i never saw a single outhouse as u speak of
personally i think it is a brilliant self cleaning tiolet with no moving parts but sadly it is slowly becoming extinct as the doo doo bird
to be safe i never ate any goan sausage,just incase
hey mike post a photo of one <showing the swinging door> if u see one
say hi to M>T> he should be up that way soon as well
enjoyed 6 weeks in southern india and saving up to go back..
i never hated.....yet loved<more>a country soo much
words cannot truely describe the satisfaction it gives u
#10 Sep 23rd, 2003, 08:53
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  • turlapati is offline
disposable diapers, wipies, razors etc all available readily in the cities now.
susan turlapati
#11 Sep 23rd, 2003, 11:23
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  • steven_ber is offline
We have a photo that I found on the web, click here.
#12 Apr 28th, 2004, 22:40
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  • lobo is offline
There were few in benaulim earlier this year!!!!
#13 Nov 29th, 2004, 01:33
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  • seventies'hippy is offline
Oh theres still plenty around, It's just that they've tried to hide them from the tourists, All touristy type accomadation has some type of western toilet but the locals especially the poorer ones still have a pig toilet in their back yard,,,,,,,,,
You'll see plenty if you wander just off the eastern side of the candolim/ baga road, or inland from anjuna beach, infact anywhere villagy, but you'll only get to use one if you're lodging in local rooms.
In the 70's there used to be a small newspaper published occasionally by a few freaks, it was called "The Stone Pig", the name was taken from the very often seen pigs staggering around in a daze after just partaking of their breakfast,,,,,,,,,,,,,
#14 Nov 29th, 2004, 07:12
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  • artwallah is offline
They still have lots of them in Bangladesh, especially in the Chittagong hill tracts! I had a hard time using them (all that snorting and breathing in a place I was unaccustomed to), so don't have many fond memories of them.
#15 Mar 27th, 2007, 00:06
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  • dobbo is offline

Post Trying to re-discover the good times.

Just back from Goa, wanted to show my wife where I had lived as a part-time hippie/freak in the mid-70's. Sadly couldn't locate my old house on Calangute Beach (yes I should have taken the old photo of me by the well, surely the palm trees are still there??).

Sad to say, didn't like what I saw of Anjuna, Calangute, Baga & Candolim, but change is inevitable.

When I came back, I looked out some of my old editions of the "Stoned Pig', maybe the only editions left???

This is a poem from Vol 2 no 1. Full Moon November 1975.

Pig's Delight

It's not just a rumour or idle talk
That pigs re-cycle the sh*t into pork:
So where would be Goa's disposal rights
If the pigs did not have good appetites?

They gobble with relish and pray for more
And patiently wait at the sh*t-house door:
So with Epsom salts and syrup of figs
Please do think kindly of Goanese pigs,
So sh*t well and truly and do what's right,
For what you don't want, is a pig's delight.


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