blogitto ergo sum

May 12, 2011

#182 – the book says… [Indian Intake IV]

| Publication: Kuperard | Author: Nicki Grihault |

sometime between my first trip to India and the 2nd one, i bought a book.  India, the essential guide to customs & culture is only one of the culture smart! series which covers just about 60 countries.  Can’t wait to read the Israel edition.

putting guides to test before, i generally have rather low expectations of travel guides.  surprisingly, this book turns to be a rather god one.  while I’m reading the 2003 edition, a new one is out.  should be fun to compare.

today, over a great breakfast that included [thank you Vinnie] chikoo smoothie, i read with great interest the section titled “Be Prepared for an Indian-Style Toilet”, page 91.  i was a bit surprised as i read “… There is no toilet paper, as its use is repellent to most Indians.  It is generally believed that it is cleaner to use water.  There is usually a tap by the side of the toilet, and a small pot.” book then goes to explain the business of cleansing and ends the section with “…  a toilet roll and soap are essential items in your baggage..” [page 92]

indeed, all Indian toilets I’ve been to included a tap or, more frequently, a small hand-held shower head.  AND toilet paper or at minimum, the orphaned roll holder. all, until today.

in the crossword bookstore in Hyderabad, where Terrence and I were having our after-lunch coffee break, nature made its call and i followed.  as i walked into the private room, the book’s words flushed in my head.

"There is no toilet paper, as its use is repellent to most Indians. it is generally believed that it is cleaner to use water." (p. 91)

how often do travel guides are spot-on?  practically never.  so i gave virtual kudos to the guide and went on with my business, relaying on the Kleenex in my knapsack.  i would have never thought this to be an experience worth sharing, if it wasn’t for what followed.

as mom taught me, and health authorities confirm, one isn’t really done until one washed hands.

so what if the sink is dirtier than the toilet itself?

right paper, wrong place?

just in case you are not sure, or still laughing, here’s another photo – so this is what they do with the toilet paper?  creative.

location, location, location?!

on a second thought, why not?…

of course, east can meet west, to accommodate any guest.

east meets west?



  1. Your pictures reminded me of this entry in a friends blog. Enjoy the rest of your visit!

    Comment by Jeff Hoffman — May 12, 2011 @ 16:27 | Reply

  2. like a lot, laugh a lot. agree that whenever further explanation is required, it’s most likely a bad design issue.
    however, browsing through other Bad Designs pages, i read THIS ONE, and was disappointed with the designer’s comment. sometimes the designer is the problem, not the design.

    Comment by yael wagner — May 12, 2011 @ 18:38 | Reply

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