The Art of Taking A Shit in Thailand

(***This post is exactly what the title says it is, a little TMI but hopefully a useful FYI so you don’t go using your landlord’s dishtowel like I did)

I came home after having a fabulous dinner with some friends at Big Mountain in Haad Chao Phao on Koh Phangan last night and I really had to go to the bathroom. After travelling for two days with crappy bathrooms, pun intended, I was actually pretty thrilled to have my own bathroom again– but this sweet peaceful release turned into a panic when I reached for the toilet paper, or where I thought toilet paper really should be, and I instead got a rude surprise. NONE, none, none.

Oh boy, what now? I sorta shook myself off and then carefully waddled around the house pantsless rummaging high and low for some form, any form, of paper product– napkins, kleenex, paper towels? There was nothing. I considered my limited options for a few seconds before settling on a clean hand towel (Sorry Nabi, I’ll buy you a new one!), which I threw in the garbage afterwards praying that I wouldn’t have to go through any of this again until the morning when I could go buy some freaking toilet paper.  

Well the next day I met up with my friend and we talked about our plans for the day and I told her I really needed to find a store so I could get a few necessities, primarily toilet paper. “Oh ha, that’s not a thing here,” she laughed.

“Um what do you mean it’s not a thing here, how is toilet paper not a thing?!”

At this point I’m very perplexed; but I really should have figured it was something like this, as I was in China yesterday morning where bathroom life is also quite different from what I’m used to with “squatty potties” (which apparently is better for our colon/pooping health because of the angle, huh, go figure!) where you pretty much squat over a flat ceramic basin on the ground with a drain in it (that’s just one of many styles.)

My friend then explained to me that in Thailand they use the hose system (that’s not a real name, I made it up), where there’s a hose hanging near the toilet and you literally hose yourself down after. Well, after going home I went into my bathroom to confirm this and sure enough there it was, it had been hanging there the whole time. I can’t say getting used to this is easy, it still feels a bit weird and I’m pretty sure I sprayed more of the bathroom than I actually did myself (the pressure on the one in my house is frightening!); but my friend explained it to me like this… “If someone wiped shit on your face would you want to wipe it off with tissue, or wash it off with water?…”

Well obviously the water makes a lot more sense, and then we also have the benefit of saving paper! Even if there is toilet paper you really can’t/shouldn’t flush it down the toilet because plumbing here isn’t equipped for that.

Anyways, here are some pictures of the beautiful sunset:)

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View from my current home in Surathani on Koh Phangan, Thailand
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View from my current home in Surathani on Koh Phangan, Thailand
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