Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Discreet Charm of the Bidet

                In Brazil, as with numerous countries, one is well advised to ensure no toilet paper mingles with biological business in the bowl before flushing.  Legends tell of those who have tried and experienced nothing but tragedy.  Instead, you must learn to embrace the bidets and mangueiras (which can mean both 'hose' or 'mango tree') found to the side of any half decent throne in the country.  Bathrooms bereft of spraying apparatuses lead to the garbage bins of your worst nightmare.

               As a 9-year old youngster, I discovered the bidet in the lavatory at my grandparents' place of lodging.  Curiosity led to an experiment with this novel device, and the ensuing high-pressure aqueous tingle gave me the sensation I had done something morally incorrect.  It also dawned on me that I had just sprayed myself with the same thing that cleansed the nether regions of my grandparents.   From that point on, I didn't stray from the conventional wiping method until traveling to Asia with my lovely chum, Rebecca, more than a decade later.
                    James & Guthrie the Bidet, Iguazu Falls 2011
                It is only now, as a man of 30, that I realize these devices are truly phenomenal.  I do prefer the hose over the bidet as you don't have to move from the toilet and one can control the aim with greater precision.  A roll of toilet paper also lasts 2-3 times longer given that you only really need it to do a quick dry.  We must have saved 30 reais on toilet paper over the last 5 months.  

                But wait!  We go back to Canada in a month to a land where the toilets and sewer system are capable of handling waste paper.  How can I go back to the barbaric methods utilized for post-defecation  clean up after becoming so enamoured with the customs in dear Brazil?  And with how much one must spend on toilet paper in the "developed" world, how are we to save enough money for the installation of a spraying device?  Please leave comments if you have any ideas about that issue.

watch this cat fumble with the toilet paper.  What a waste!  With a bidet, it could've been avoided.

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