Posted on | January 10, 2012 | 14 Comments
In Peru (and as I’ve learned, in much of South America and Asia), there’s a little appliance used by people to assist with .. shall we say … personal cleanliness after doing their business in the bathroom.
See, a bidet would be nice and all, but not a lot of people can afford one – or have space for one in a standard bathroom.
So it’s much simpler just to attach a hose to the water pipe under the loo and put a sprayer attachment (like the kind you have on your kitchen sink) on there! I’ve heard a few names for it – the poorman’s bidet, the bum gun, or simply “butt hose”.
Now it’s probably just my provincial North Americanism talking here, but until I’d moved to Peru such an ingenious little device had never occured to me. And it really is brilliant.
First of all, toilet paper is a big problem here. The quality isn’t good, and for a variety of reasons, in most places you can’t flush it. So when you use it, you have to put it in the trash can. Cleaning well with a strong spray of water eliminates a lot of the ick factor there.
Second – a lot of sewage seems to find its way to the ocean. Yeah, nasty. So the less stuff that needs to be flushed, the better, in myopinion.
Apart from those pros – there’s the personal cleanliness. It just feels cleaner. And if something you ate has given you a little problem with Pachacutec’s Revenge (or the “dear-rears” as my nephew Nick says), it is definitely a gentler method of keeping things clean.
So sing praises to the mighty bum gun – Keeping Peruvian potos clean for generations.
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