Saturday, 8 October 2011

Ah, the bidet...

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


Jane said...

Sandra, you will be so happy to have the washing machine--. I have Italian friends who use the bidet to wash their feet at night before going to bed. So it isn't just we unaccustomed foreigners who find useful purposes for this essential.

Trekcapri said...

Hi Sandra,

You find the best photos for your posts. :) I think I read that famous bidet thread on ST. lol. It's going to be so much fun experiencing so many things while living in Rome...even those daily everyday things like shopping, laundry, and bidet usage. :) I'm not sure I would be a fan of those foldaways either.

Have a great day today.

sandrac said...

Thanks Jane, I don't have a washing machine in my apartment here, so this will seem like the height of luxury!

Hi Kathy, I think it will be very interesting and exciting to be a resident of Rome -- quite a different experience for being a visitor for only a few weeks.

Hope you're both have a great weekend!

Susie L said...

Another great post Sandra!

Ah yes, the infamous toilet/bidet thread on ST. I had almost forgotten about it!

girasoli said...

I love your new blog! Got all caught up today. Congratulations on your decision to move to Rome! I am very jealous! Can't wait to read about your fun there!

I love the bidet. Can't figure out why it hasn't caught on here. The uses of a bidet are endless. If I had the money to build my own house, I would definitely have a bidet in my bathroom.

I stayed at Hotel Casci once. Must have had a different room (fortunately!). That is one strange fold-up system!

sandrac said...

Thanks Susie.I did enjoy that ST thread (and learned a great deal about the bidet, unusual showers and the like!)

Hi Girasoli, great to hear from you again. I'm glad you like the blog -- I still must do some tinkering (and you know how clumsy I am with technology!)

I'm glad that I only spent one night in the Hotel Casci room with the fold-down toilet and bidet. It was NOT comfortable! But it is such a great hotel otherwise.

Sandwitch said...

Hmmm. Looks like the perfect size to wash my new puppy in! :)

sandrac said...

You're so right, Ms. S! But perhaps a bit low to the ground, might be hard your back. Maybe a job for Miss S instead!

menehune said...

Now here's a subject note everyone writes about. Glad you will have a use for your bidet! I like the idea of soaking feet or a bottle of wine - will have to give it a try when next in Europe. Hope your planning is coming along and there are no more migraines to sideline you. Caio!

Annie said...

Ha ha. I remember that long crazy thread on ST. I've used them for soaking my feet too though I've never cracked the seat!

Agree with Kathy - love your pics!

sandrac said...

Thanks menehune! So many uses for the bidet -- I'll be glad to have one again (under 50 days to go.)

Hi Annie, that was a fun thread, wasn't it? Glad to hear you haven't had a dunking; it was almost enough to scare me away from foot-soaking.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm just browsing through your past entries, to get to the real stuff!

Am I the only one who uses a bidet for its intended purpose? I love it, and wish I had one at home in Australia.

Yvonne (Currently in Venice for 3 months)