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The Bathroom, Going Native in Southeast Asia
tigerfarm | April 16, 2007 at 12:44 pmby
751 views | 0 Recommendations | 1 comment
More than you expect.
I had a long flight to Bangkok, a taxi ride to the restaurant, and then to my friend's home. Once there, I went to the bathroom. When I finished, I reached for the handle to flush...hmmm, no handle, no water tank. The rest of the toilet looks normal enough.
Bewildered, I ask my Thai hostess, "How do I flush the toilet?"
After a good humoured laugh, she shows me to use a water scoop to get water from the large open tank at the other end of the bathroom, and pour the scoop of water into the toilet, at which time the toilet drains as if flushed. Wow, that is slick, no waste, quiet, impressive.
OK, now time to take a shower. This time, to help this foreigner, she gives me a towel, and takes me to the bathroom. When entering, I step over a threshold, I hang up my towel, and she shows me the hose and tap. The bathroom is the shower room. The design is simple, the floors and walls are tiled, few moving parts, functional, low maintenance. I strip, turn the hose on and realize, no hot or cold, just water. Since it is in the 30s (Celsius) tonight, and there is no air conditioning, the room temperature water is refreshing.
One more lesson. One evening, I went into the bathroom to wash my hands and face before going out. Since it was warm in the house and I was only wearing a tshirt and cotton pants, I stripped off, and used the scoop to pour water over my entire body. I felt better for having done this.
I had heard the natives in this region shower multiple times a day. Now I know why, it is easy, feels good, and I smell better.
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