Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Mystery of the Bidet

[Image: Josef Litobarski, 2008, Attribution 3.0 Unported]

Every house in Italy seems to have a bidet in the bathroom. These things are completely new to me, as we don't have them at all in the UK. I always had a general idea what they were for and how they were used - but it was still a bit mysterious. Needless to say, the bidet in our apartment has gone unused since we got here. I wasn't sure, for example, how exactly to go about using it. To be honest, I also didn't really see the point.

So, the other day I asked a friend of ours if people actually use bidets or if they're just ornamental. And, of course, people use them. You can sit on them facing either forwards or backwards (depending on what you want to wash) and you just turn the water on and have a wash. It's also perfectly acceptable to wash your feet in them (which is the most Elsje and I have ever used a bidet for). Apparently, when one is bidet-height as a child, it's not unusual to even drink from the bidet. It still seems a bit unnecessary - it's like having more than one sink. But then, to the Italians it seems a bit unnecessary for people in the UK to have two separate taps for everything - both a hot tap and a cold tap - instead of just one tap which can be changed from hot to cold.

Last night, though, we finally found a use for the bidet. Elsje spilled olive oil on one of her favourite cardigans, so we soaked it in soapy warm water in the bidet. Perfect.

In other news: it's been snowing again. More snow than I've ever seen in my life. As predicted, snow is less exciting after the first time. Still pretty awesome, though.

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