Researcher, Mother and traveler

The water hose in the toilet

The water hose in the toilet

I do not know if it’s just me, but I’m not used to use a water hose in the toilet. The first years in Tanzania I always wondered what this water hose is for, but now I’ve found that it is “not that bad” if the toilet paper is finished.

In practically every toilet you’ll find a water hose. That’s actually a separate small shower so that you can clean your thingy after the dump. And if there is no water hose, then there is a bucket with a large measuring cup with handle so … you can clean your thingy after the dump. Huh? What? How?

Recently, there was a discussion at work that the toilet paper was of poor quality because it sticks. Yes, I had already experienced that, but I can deal with that. But then people started to say ‘it does not matter, because at home they do not use toilet paper ‘and I got off track. But then I made the link with the so-called bidets we always used to have in the French hotels. I even have a picture that I’m in the bath (bidet) as a little girl. Bidets, which I never really understood until I understood the Tanzanian water hose in the toilet.

After asking around a bit, I began to understand that you hold the hose with one hand and with the other hand you (possibly) scrub… but when I realised that, I could not think differently then ‘ NO, IT CAN NOT BE, because that means with your hands you ……. And when I tried to imagine the toilets without water hose but with bucket and measuring cup, I was quite upset. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? Which hand do you keep what? And what if the bucket is empty and you have to fill the bucket from the tap? Which hand do you use? And how are you sure the previous visitor did not use the hand for scrubbing to grab the jug or the tap??? And there is no towel, so that means you pull your pants up when it’s all wet? Or should you use that sticky toilet paper???

I often read that using a water hose or a bucket of water is more hygienic than toilet paper, but I’m just not so sure. You can still have an agreement to only use the right hand to eat and shake hands and the left hand for your thingy, but for so many things you really need two hands. And that empty soap dispenser that is frequently refilled with water will lose its antibacterial activity after some time I guess? Or do I really have completely misunderstood … ??? I prefer to use sticky toilet paper.