You’ve all done it … you’ve all said to yourself ‘hmmm I wonder what this button / switch does’ and then you’ve tested it … right? (please agree with me even if you won’t say it out loud, at least agree inside your own head). Whether it was a light switch, a button on the oven, a button on your computer … you’ve done it, right?
Well … I did that today … with the bidet …
Very common in a lot of countries, including here in Argentina, but very rare in countries such as Canada. Not that they don’t exist, they just aren’t commonplace. I’ve seen bidets all throughout Europe, occasionally in Asia and almost everywhere in Buenos Aires, including in my current apartment.
Let me clarify the extent of my advanced knowledge of a bidet.
It is used to wash your bum with spraying water. That’s all. I knew nothing else.
I’ve always been a bit curious, but I’ve never pressed that button, flipped that switch or turned that knob.
….. until today.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too graphic as I actually was just inspecting the bidet, not using it for it’s intended purpose.
There are three handles. I turned the left one and water slowly leaked out into the bowl.
I turned it off.
I turned the right one and water slowly leaked out into the bowl.
I turned it off and thought ‘maybe this is more like a urinal than a bidet. Maybe the water just cleans the bowl out.’
But wait … I had one more knob to turn. The left and right handles were both turned off, no water was running. I leaned over and turned the centre knob …
Guess what happened?
I jumped out of the way as water shot straight up with such force that it hit the ceiling. (no joke). I giggled and hurried to turn it off without getting sprayed directly in my face by the firehose-strength stream of water.
And then I thought, I don’t think I could ever let water with that force spray directly at my bum (or other areas)
Um yeah, I just said that! Just keeping it real here!
After surviving the bidet encounter without impaling my eye, I decided that maybe I need more information. How could a bidet actually be so popular? Really, do people use these? I’ve done and seen a lot of things in my travels and somehow using a squatter seems less complicated than navigating a bidet. Maybe I’m just more comfortable in the simplicity of nature than the luxury of a middle class apartment.
Having no actual knowledge of what the bidet is meant for, further than ‘cleaning your bum’, I checked good old Wikipedia after my experimentation. It’s always better to try first and inform yourself later, right?
And then I found this fun video for your viewing pleasure. Don’t worry, it doesn’t show any private bits.
I’m still a little confused on how it saves toilet paper though … do you drip dry? Or do you just pull up your pants and have a wet seat for awhile? Seems the system is still a little flawed.