Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to pee in India

It takes a very special relationship, and one that is ... say ... eighteen months old. That's how long you have to know someone before you can ask them how they use the toilet.

Let me explain.

Before you think I'm perverted.


I'm too late?

Well ... I'll tell you anyway.


I've heard of references in books and movies to the Indian squat toilet, and I've often thought about how one would go about using it.

So I asked.

But in no way would I have ever had the guts to ask something like that if I hadn't known my Indian "source" for as long as I had.


Basically what it boils down to is: you push your pants down *only to your knees* (this is where I've chronically messed up -- literally), you put your feet on the little ridge-y footprint things on the side of the hole in the floor, you do your business, and then the waterworks. This deserves it's own bullet points.

  • if there's running water, you fill up the bucket in front of you. If not, you use the water that's already in the bucket. :) 
  • there's a wee ladle, small bucket, or pitcher you use to scoop out some of the water from the larger bucket.
  • you use your left hand (this is important for social reasons) to hold open your ... well, you know, and you use your right hand to splash/pour the water in the specific area you need to clean (from behind). Your left hand directs the flow of water, so to speak, it doesn't ... (oh my, this is harder to write about than I thought) ... smear. Even if you are a woman and you've only peed, this is apparently how it's still done. Though my "source" was a man, so what does he know. ;)
  • After you're done, you use the big bucket of water to "flush" and "clean" the toilet. Just splash some in.
  • If, for some reason, you happen to have toilet paper on you and you use it ... *don't* put it down the toilet. Put it in the trash.
  • And then, you know, wash your hands, dude!
I still have a few questions. Ones I forgot to ask my "source."
Like: once you're done cleaning yourself, that means your wet, right? So how do you dry off? Don't your clothes (or underwear) get water on them?

That said, when I visit India (crossing fingers for summer of 2013), if I happen to run into a squat toilet, I feel fairly confident I'll know what to do now.

Source: Unknown

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