Indonesians never fail to mess up a toilet, no matter how neat and clean it is. Here in Indonesia, toilet considered proper when it has squat toilet and a bucket of water. The former (perhaps) has something to do with the fact that Indonesian went goes to the river to do the performance. Anyway, you can still spot people in the rural Jakarta doing number one, number two, and at the same time washing the dishes and their clothes in the river.
When there’s no squat toilet available, Indonesians (and their shoes) squat on the sitting toilet and leave a souvenir behind, the shoe print. Even a sitting toilet with warmer (yes we have that too!) could not escape this horrendeous fate. For the non-squatters, sitting in a toilet-with-a-tatoo is inevitable. To minimize the inconvinience, they usually cover the seater with layers of toilet paper. When the toilet paper is not available, they I do the sitting pose without really sitting. In Yoga, we call that the awkward pose.
After the performance, Indonesians clean themselves with water and the left hand. That is why it is considered rude to hand something with left hand, even for left-handed. From a tender age, we are taught that left hand is a dirty hand or ugly hand.
Although cleaning using toilet paper is not common, Indonesians, especially women, still need toilet paper to dry the V area, of course they wash it with water first. Toilet paper is a luxurious thing that many middle class mall does not provide it, or worse put the tissue roll outside the toilet. Apart from that, the demand for toilet tissue is usually come from restaurant (not the fancy one), because the Indonesian put toilet paper on the dining table. Hey, it’s cheaper! Anyway, it’s forbidden to throw tissue in the toilet bowl, because we don’t have the technology to separate toilet paper and water. Indonesians don’t seem to care about that though, so we put it in the bowl and clog toilet or just throw it on the floor.
Despite the global campaign of UNICEF to wash hand with soap, Indonesians do not bother to do it. Data shows that 96% women wash their hand, but if you go to the mall, you’ll notice that many women will rub their hair after using the toilet and walked away without washing their hands. Yikes!
What about the man? For starter, many Indonesian men don’t lift the toilet seater. I guess they think that they have a long P and could reach the toilet, they are mistaken. When going to unisex toilet, you’ll notice the dribbles all over the toilet seater. What is the other thing that Indonesian man does to mess up the toilet? Well, they like to pee on the corner against the wall, so the stench of the urine will stay forever.
Being an Indonesian, I have two unforgettable toilet experience. One was in a small village in Kasembon Malang. I was told that the toilet is located near the well. I was trying so hard to find the toilet until I realised, there was neither toilet nor wall, just a well, so I did the performance next to the well. My other unforgettable toilet was inside the cow’s barn in a small village in South Malang. Toilet is so unimportant that they put it in the cow’s barn! The smell was bad but the hygiene was worse, the cow’s poop scattered all around the floor. Scary! I’m glad for those experiences, because no matter how dirty the toilet is, I can handle it!
By the way, do you know that the UN designates 19 November as World Toilet Day?