The Wonderful World of Bidets

One of the many things I have come to miss dearly since moving to the US is what seems to be one of the most hated and unappreciated things in this country.

Kartell by Laufen, from Designboom.com

Kartell by Laufen, from Designboom.com

Having grown up overseas, literally all of the houses I lived in had one in every bathroom. I’ve grown absolutely accustomed and very fond of them throughout the years and I have not been able to cope with the lack of them wherever we live on this side of the world.

One of the very best feelings ever since has been to find one every time we check into a hotel in Europe. That is like a second Christmas to me, only much, much better. I’ve also had the horrible disappointment of longing to find one after weeks of anticipation only to find out that there isn’t one in our room. And I may or may not have asked for a room with a bidet at check-in once or twice when traveling. That’s secretly one of the many reasons I love going to Europe. You see, these are my people, they get me. We share in the wonderful world of bidets and the incomparable experience of feeling fully refreshed after doing our business.

First time bidet experience, from BuzzFeed youtube video

First time bidet experience, from BuzzFeed youtube video

Something I’ll never be able to grasp is why so many, especially Americans, not only do not understand why the rest of the world has such fascination with them but feel a certain tinge of horror at the sight of one. Especially if they knew how the rest of us cringe at the notion that there are people in the world that are truly content with the idea of walking around other human beings with their bums not properly clean! I can’t quite understand why we start the early years of our lives having our behinds cleaned with wet wipes and even baths to later reach a point in life when we graduate to using dry, coarse toilet paper.

Different styles

Vertical Spray Bidet, from Kohler

Vertical Spray Bidet, from Kohler

I have seen a few variants in all of our trips. First is the traditional. A toilet-like shape with a sort of shower head in the bottom (vertical spray), where gentle water jets come from. This is the one I’m most used to and more experienced with.

 

Horizontal Spray Bidet, from Kohler

Horizontal Spray Bidet, from Kohler

Then there’s what I consider a modern take on the previous one. A mono-command faucet on the back part of the bidet is attached to the head where the jets come from in a semi-horizontal fashion (horizontal spray). This is my least favorite as I feel like I need to cirque de soleil myself into a good position.

And then, the holy grail of all bidets. Apparently the Japanese have been outdoing everyone else not just at microchips and robots, but at building the smart bidet of the future, today. If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Japan or some modern lounges in Asian airports, you would have seen the Toto toilets, where what looks like a regular toilet comes to life with a sort of tablet-control. This allows you to choose several options, among which you can enjoy a nice seat warmer, rear wash, front wash and a quick blow dry to finish the job.

“Bottom” Line

So next time you see one, don’t be shy and give it a try. That’s exactly what my mother in law did when she visited Iguazu Falls in Argentina for the first time (sorry, the secret was bound to come out eventually!). Just make sure to, unlike her, regulate the temperature and sit in the bidet before actually turning the faucet on, unless you want to recreate the Amazon rain-forest in your hotel bathroom.

For all those that don’t have a bidet nearby right now, I leave you with these real time reviews of people using bidets WHILE USING THEM… Enjoy!

Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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3 Comments

    • This would definitely do the trick… but I’d still miss the real thing!

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  1. Bidets are nice, Hand Held Bidet Sprayers are nicer. For starters you can buy a good one for under $50. They require no new plumbing to install and almost no maintenance. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, they do a much better job cleaning you because they have a stronger water spray and more control over where it sprays then the fixed wand on Bidets and Bidet Toilet Seats which spray more like a weak water fountain.

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