The whole “bathroom” thing in India can be scary before you go. Squat toilets? Delhi belly? More oil in one dish than you’d eat all month at home, chased by even more oil because fuck plain naan it’s garlic butter naan all the way? Yeah. Toilets can be scary.
This said, I conquered them. I used a squat toilet! On a train! Once while it was moving! (and once while it was stopped at the station so apparently I went to the bathroom on the tracks in front of people waiting for a train oh god what a fucking idiot). I actually really like squat toilets in public places — you don’t have to touch anything! Let’s bring them to Canada!
This said, there were two things I could never figure out in every bathroom I went into: the buckets and the hose.
I figured the buckets were for…I dunno. Maybe just in case the toilet didn’t flush? Sort of like Southeast Asia – just fill it up and flush the toilet the ol’ fashioned way. And the hoses? They must be for cleaning the bathrooms. Right? Like, every single stall will be sprayed and very clean? That’s why there was always water all over the floor in any toilet I was in? …..right?
Turns out the hose and the bucket were for your bum.
I found this out randomly via Reddit today and immediately confirmed it with friends. Apparently everyone in the entire world knew the hoses were for your bum except for me. I feel so stupid and shocked…but at the same time, I’m okay with it because it meant I was never tempted to try it. I mean, I’m all for unique cultural experiences…but knowing me I’d end up spraying water all over my pants/shirt/everywhere and have even more of a mess to clean up. I’m okay with sticking to toilet paper.
This said, I’m fully going to try a bum gun when I go back to India next year. If I can develop that much of a love for squat toilets, maybe hoses are my next great unknown passion.