Sunday, June 13, 2010

Toilet Travesty in Thailand

There are a multitude of things I miss. Today, American toilets took a drastic leap to #1. Not all Thai toilets are created equal. The toilets in my home here in Thailand are so similar to our toilets that I didn't give it a second thought...until about an hour ago.

After obtaining the key to the teacher toilet at school, I headed to the drab room underneath the stairs to do my business. It looked like a normal toilet. Less than a minute after I sit down I am walked in on by the director of the English department and come to the realization that there is more than one key to the teacher toilet, thus revealing the purpose of the second lock I'd thought to be simple overkill.

Two minutes in. While thinking about the head of the English department standing outside the door while I poo, I am struck by the fact that there is no toilet paper, toilet paper holder, or paper towels anywhere to be seen. Hmmm...what is this strange hose in a bucket next to the toilet? That can't be....oh dear.

I spent more minutes than I'd like to admit trying to figure things out. Does the hose go under or over the leg? How can I escape getting poo water on myself? How will I know when i'm clean down there? With satisfaction and disgust I throw the hose back into it's murky home and proceed to flush...wait, what?

Nothing even resembling a handle is anywhere on the toilet or in the small dark room. Frantically I try to fill the toilet using the water from the hose. Fail. It remains in the bottom of the bowl, taunting me. Is it like a porter potty? Do I just leave it? But there was nothing there when I came in, so it must flush somehow...Out of options and worried about what the director will think about Americans and their use of the bathroom, I wash my hands and open the door.

I then fumble through an action based explanation of the problem, complete with hand gestures for flush and poo. By this time very disgruntled, she fishes a large bowl from the bottom of the bucket. She simply splashes it into the toilet to remove it's contents, simultaneously lectures me about locking the door, and shoos me from the room.

Some words of caution about the Thailet
1. It might look like a toilet, but it's not the porcelain princess you're used to
2. Unless you're feeling adventurous check for hardware and software before logging in
3. If there is more than one lock on the door, it's there for a reason


  1. Thanks for the laugh and the endorphin rush! It's the simple things that get us everytime!

  2. I've been terrified of having this happen to me...and I've been caught in the no tp situation, too!

    Found this forum post and makes me feel better that we're not alone and clueless: