Ah the bidet. If there was one cultural habit that I am firmly stuck in the middle on, it’s the bidet. I often listen as Italians scoff, “the [insert non-bidet using nationality here] don’t even use the bidet!” I usually just try not to move. If I don’t call attention to myself perhaps they won’t turn their snarls on me, the ubiquitous American who also happens to not use a bidet.
Then there’s the other side. Photos of my new house were met with prompt responses from family and friends about the “strange toilet” next to the “real” toilet. The bidet is teased. I’ve suffer through many a joke about water rocketing into places it shouldn’t rocket into…I’m sure you can imagine.
Actually, I’m used to it. This very personal subject is really only personal in cross-cultural instances. Italians find a bidet completely normal, sanitary and not even slightly embarrassing. Americans, on the other hand, often find bidets gross and useless – a public display of personal bathroom habits.
When I met Marco, I still didn’t even understand how one would use a bidet if one so wished. As you can probably imagine, the subject isn’t the easiest to discuss. Though this is still a split-bidet using household, I’ve grown to understand a bit more about the merits of the bidet. I’m not ashamed to say that I do, in fact, utilize the bidet.
Yep, I use the bidet to clean my feet, shave my legs, water my plants. I put my dirty mops in it so they can dry, hand wash my clothes in it and, admittedly, pray that guests don’t actually feel welcome enough to use it!
The bidet in my house ensures that children can wash their hands at their own height, beers can be kept cold and plants can be watered. So, I might be stuck between worlds that either find a bidet disgusting or find a lack of a bidet a sign of barbarianism, but I’ve found that the extra toilet water-spout has proven itself very useful!