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Time for a little bathroom talk here. Just have to warn you because in one of those moments of bathroom know-how (now), I realized that most travelers would have been stuck screaming for help.

The one thing that I am still not accustomed to here is the non-tissue, spray your butt with a water gun method.

Then add the squatting toilet, no spray gun, no tissue.


Top that off with a case of diarrhea from eating something that is not wanting to be friends.

Time to start screaming for help!


The Squatter

I still don’t get the squatting toilet thing. I’ve heard some refer to it as the “Chinese toilet.” There is always a well of water beside it with a dipper, so I know that you ladle the water from the well into it to make it flush. But no tissue (those suckers clog easily). No spray gun. Do you sit there and drip dry? Shake? Wipe? I don’t get it? I haven’t asked yet, guessing I need to; although I may not want to know the answer.

I now understand that the squat method is the way that the body is aligned to rid itself of waste (have been told that by multiple people on Facebook and in person), the best way to rid your body of the number two. But, how exactly are people cleaning themselves up afterwards?!? After my stay away from Ubud when I realized that 99% did not have the same hygiene standards, I became sick from the idea of how/what/if. Then realized that the food that I was consuming and the cleanliness of where I slept was based upon their standards, not mine. I FREAKED!

Disgustingly, grossed-out, sick!

My remedy: always carry your own tissue and plastic bag. Carry hand sanitizer. Don’t shake hands. (I’m thinking their hands may be their toilet paper.)

The Spray Gun

Then there is the spray gun method. I understand that certain religions/people/ways do things differently. I didn’t realize that certain religions didn’t believe in using tissue. That’s a new one for me!
At least with this method there is some noticeable props for cleaning. Even at the sink. I have now learned never to stay away from one thing….

The butt crack soap! You will discover them in various public toilet rooms. They have a very distinctive shape.

STAY AWAY from THAT soap! I now know not to pick up a bar of soap that is in any toilet room. It grosses me out to think that I probably picked up a bar of soap to wash my hands not knowing that it was butt soap. So far I haven’t gotten sick or died of an overdose of germs, but I am learning to become more aware of my non-American surroundings. If it is not liquid soap in a bottle, I do not use it!

I've been told that the spray gun is the Dutch version of a bidet and that they are also the ones who introduced the squatter to Indonesia during their rule of the Spice Islands. If so, they confused the islanders and me!

Occasionally life as I was raised returns to normal in the westernized resorts and restaurants. For a few moments the post-Hong Kong germaphope expat calms down...but I still reach for that bottle of hand sanitizer!


Thank you Dettol for keeping the germs away! If it only worked on the weirdos and stalkers there in Bali...

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copyright 2011-2017 Loxley Browne

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