Monday, September 16, 2013

She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

Though the hose should eliminate the use of toilet paper, it's not all that efficient. But because most toilets outside the West discourage disposal of paper, etc., in the toilet, because of insufficient plumbing, there's the ubiquitous bucket at the side. I've learned to observe excessive use and careless tossing of toilet paper as a moral failure.

Squat toilets still abide in older buildings or where patrons demand them out of a love of tradition. But they scare me. I first encountered one in India and found my legs could not assume the position. So I sat atop it in a humiliating and not entirely sanitary compromise. Asians learn to squat about the time they learn to walk which is why they can do it, as well as sit on their ankles, and those inculturated with chairs cannot.

My wife does not understand why I use the hose from behind. She does double duty from the front. I have to demonstrate that my parts get in the way. And when I stand to pee I don't need to hose off. But she says I should.

There is no window to the outside in my toilet (or hong nam, water room, as the Thais logically call it), but only a small window high up over the tub-shower overlooking the sink in our small kitchen. When Edward comes to visit he always slides it shut, fearful that some stranger might see his pre-pubescent body. At least no burglars can crawl into the shower. They'll have to get to our 9th floor balcony first.

The upscale malls in Bangkok, like Terminal 21, have super modern toilets that feature warm seats and water from several directions. They're made in Japan or Korea and threaten the fading tradition of squat toilets. I go out of my way to make use of them.

Something should be done about toilet paper. I believe it still owes its existence to trees, an endangered life form. Perhaps the Japanese or Koreans will figure a way to make it out of reusable plastic, but I expect to be flushed away long before then (my ashes at least).

A note about my throne shown above: I still like to read there but now it's with my iPad. The plunger is a recent addition and has come in handy several times. I don't know why so much hair accumulates in the pipes below the sink and shower. It can't be from my thinning head of grey hair.

1 comment:

Sam said...

It's not a hose, it's a "sanitary host spray" as various notices warning about its improper use inform us.

What amazes me in Terminal 21 is the fact that these space age toilets don't have automatic flush.

And have you noticed that someone has removed the useful hooks on the sinks for you to hang your bag while washing your hands?

The latest wheeze is automatic lighting. A typical notice states that "this toilet is fitted with automatic lighting which will go out unless a motion is detected."

I need to get out more.