Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Toilets

Yes, you read that right.  I want to write about toilets.  In fact, I scratched a whole paragraph I had started on the subject of toothpaste (which is also interesting but not quite as interesting as toilets) in lieu of a blog post dedicated to the subject of toilets.

You may have preferences in this area of personal hygiene.  I know I do.  I prefer a toilet to be clean, have a seat and have toilet paper available nearby.  I want to be able to flush the tissue down.

I also know what I don't want.  I don't want to see any sort of liquid on the seat or around the base.  In fact, I don't want to have to worry about what is on the floor at all.

I have had to rethink all my preferences in the last two years.  The first thing I noticed here was that tissue isn't flushed down.  There is usually a small trash can located near the toilet for the tissue to be placed.  There are signs posted warning against flushing down toilet paper.

Public toilets often do not have a seat.  We've gotten used to that now and don't really care so much anymore.

Public toilets usually do not have toilet paper available.  To get around this we carry small packages of tissue in our bags.  Dennis had to get a "man bag" because there are some things a person just has to carry- like hand sanitizer and tissue.

Public toilets usually do not have soap.  If they do, it is out already or is watered down to the consistency of, well, water.  So we are really good at remembering to stick that hand sanitizer in our bags.

There is often liquid on the floor in public bathrooms.  It took me awhile to realize why.  It is still gross, but not as gross as I imagined.  Water is often used in conjunction with tissue here for more cleanliness, and sometimes splashing water around can get a little messy.  But at least it is just water.  In fact, lots of bathrooms have a little bidet installed, a mini sprayer like the ones we are used to seeing at the kitchen sink.  If there isn't a bidet installed then most people use a tambo, a medium sized dipper.

When Button was in the hospital last fall for dengue she had a really cool toilet in her hospital room.  It had several automatic sprayers for different needs, I guess.  If you have watched the movie Cars 2 you may remember Mater in the restroom pushing lots of buttons and being startled at what was happening to him as he got sprayed from different angles.  That is what this one was like.

And there you have it.  Things you never knew you didn't know.  You're welcome.


Donna Amis Davis said...

I used to say, The glamour of the mission field wears off the first time you have to use a public toilet - especially ones out in the province.

Dennis and Valerie said...

Haha! So true! :) Dennis wanted me to include some other stories, including one about a hole in the ground that passed as the C.R. up north, but I refrained in this post... :D Maybe next time I write about toilets.

Sally said...

My first trip abroad was a real culture shock (toilet wise) but when you've got to go then you have no option but to use the local facilities. Yes, I learnt very quickly to keep packs of tissues in handbags or pockets.

Donna Amis Davis said...

Oh, so you've already experienced one of those! Rather confusing the first time you encounter that, isn't it?

Java with the Johnsons said...

haha...and you forgot to mention that if you are wearing long pants you have to stop to roll up your pants before you enter a restroom...otherwise the bottom 3 inches of your pants will be soaked with all sorts of yumminess. :)

Anonymous said...

And no mention of a certain child learning the hard way about seatless toilets ? :)

nutschell said...

Can't believe you're living in the Philippines. I was born and raise there my whole life--and you're right about the toilets. (We call the dippers tabo though, and not tambo:)--I still use them even when I've moved to the U.S.)
Happy A-Zing!

Jean said...

In Germany in very fancy rest areas we experienced toilets that cleaned themselves. However, you have to pay to use them.