It will be nice to have a bidet again.
As I prepare for my move to Rome, I've been reading my friend Jane's blog about preparations her family made four years ago when they moved to Italy for a year.
I had a good laugh over a post she wrote, upon returning to California, about things that she missed from Italy -- including having a bidet in the bathroom!
For many North Americans, the bidet is a kind of mysterious bathroom fixture. Yet, it's so very common in European hotels and rental apartments that it's impossible to ignore.
Over on Slow Travel, there was even an extraordinarily long thread about the many uses for the bidet. Apart, that is, from its original function: cleaning one's undercarriage. Other uses included: chilling a bottle of wine brought back to the hotel room; soaking laundry mid-trip; keeping cut flowers wet until a vase could be found; and extra storage space for bathroom stuff (assuming the bidet is clean and dry.)
Jane wrote of how she missed using the bidet to shave her legs, soak clothes for a few hours (rather than tie up the sink) and for watering plants.
My favourite use is for soaking tired feet, when there is no bathtub available, after a long, hot day of walking. There are, of course, risks associated with this. Once in Spoleto, I was soaking my feet in the bidet while sitting on the lid of the toilet, when the lid cracked right under me, dumping me into the toilet!! I no longer sit as easily on the toilet lid as I once did -- scarred, I suppose, by that dunking.
Anyway, my apartment in Rome is tiny -- certainly, no bathtub (although I will have a washing machine which is very handy even if a cycle is 2-hours.) But it has a bidet so I can soak my feet. Yay!
The above photo, from Doru on Slow Trav, is of the foldaway toilet and bidet in a room at the Hotel Casci in Florence. I've had this same room and was NOT impressed with the fold-up facilities!blog