Bathroom activities are certainly not at all among the list that many want to talk about, but I just have to talk about the “bum gun”… That phrase was actually coined by one of the first volunteers I’d met while here, Megan from Ireland, who also was the one who taught and told me its real function!
When I first arrived in Bangkok and stayed at the hotel near the airport, I noticed that while they had a Western toilet complete with a roll of toilet paper, they also had a hose connected to a water pipe with a nozzle at the end of it that when pressed would squirt out water. I thought it was a rather clever way to clean the toilet and flush out the areas under the rim when scrubbing the bowl out. I had seen this arrangement in every other hostel/hotel bathroom I had been in and continued to think how clever it was…
Then I arrived in Sangkhlaburi… And while J’s Family Homestay, where I stayed for the first couple of weeks, had a bathroom with a Western toilet with the spray nozzle attached, they didn’t have any toilet paper in the bathroom nor a bin stored in there to be able to throw away toilet paper that was brought in… Hmmmm….. That made me wonder a bit and was quite annoying really to have to bring in my own bag for used toilet paper.
A few days after being in Sangkhlaburi while drinking at Baan Job with Megan, Nyzil and Omar (a volunteer from Spain), Megan and I went to the bathroom together (as girls always do) and she made a mention how she really quite enjoys the bum gun as it made her feel so much cleaner! “I’m sorry, what?? The bum gun??”. “Yea that hose attached to the toilet”… Now I was really confused. So… That isn’t to clean the toilet but rather for… cleaning… instead of… toilet paper???
Yup. Indeed the “bum gun” is used in place of toilet paper. Several seconds of squirting water in the areas required is all it takes to get you feeling fresh and clean! Of course you had to wait a few seconds to dry a bit after using it, but it seriously does make you feel so much cleaner! Suddenly it made perfect sense as to why several places had no toilet paper but always had the hose and squirt nozzle! A word of advice that Megan also shared with me however was to always test the pressure of the nozzle before pointing it to yourself as it can sometimes be a bit strong.
So there it is. My knowledge of the bum gun. Use at your will:) Oh and I have thought to take a picture to show you all what exactly it looks like, but really don’t want to be caught walking into a bathroom with a camera… I can only imagine what people would think in seeing me do that, lol! Funnily enough the bathroom at the volunteer house doesn’t have a bum gun… Otherwise I wouldn’t mind sneaking in there for a shot of one. We have an Eastern toilet and utilize Western methods of cleaning since there isn’t a gun there. Honestly I do wish it had the nozzle as it really does make you feel cleaner than toilet paper!