Expat Magazine

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

By Miss Footloose @missfootloose

I found myself on my knees one day cleaning not only a bidet, but also a urinal (so elegantly called a pissoir by the French). This event took place in Moldova where I lived my expat life at the time, and it was a new experience for me. Being of the female persuasion, I’d never had a close encounter with a urinal, and although foreign hotels and houses in Italy had given me an acquaintance with bidets, I’d never been in a position to have to clean them.

I think I hear your collective gasp from the far corners of the world, but not to worry. My man had not disposed of me, rendering me destitute and forcing me to join the honorable brigade of house cleaners and hotel workers to make a living. I was safely ensconced in what was then my new house in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova (yes, that is a country).

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

It was tucked away in a small mews near the centru and was shiny and brand new. It was a small and modest place by American suburban standards, but it boasted three bidets among its plumbing fixtures, features not usually found in American suburbs.

We’d only recently moved into our new abode. Boxes and suitcases were only partially unpacked. Heaps and piles perched on beds and floors. Because, well, I’m sure you can guess: This new house was lacking in closets, cabinets and drawers. What to do with clothes? Towels and linens? The beautifully appointed bathrooms on the upper level had no place to put the towels and there was no linen closet anywhere. However the place was rich in wasted space as well as nooks and crannies. I was gobsmacked when first I wandered around the professionally finished house with its gleaming hardwood floors and beautifully tiled Italian-style bathrooms and wondered if anyone remotely female ever looked at the design and layout of the place. Surely not.

Now, allow me to show you the bathroom, washroom, WC, the toilet, whatever they call these facilities used by visitors when mother nature calls. In my native Holland they call it the toilet or the WC (and yes, those midget sinks in them are ridiculous).

Now, see the photo below? That’s what you would find when you visited Miss Footloose at home in Moldova: A generous sink (not shown), a toilet, a bidet, and a urinal. And if this was not good enough for you, well, you just couldn’t be my friend.

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

What was the architect thinking? What was he (definitely not SHE) thinking when he sized out the minuscule kitchen? It had a single sink with a tiny piece of counter next to it and a cabinet above it, the only cabinet in the place. The big island separating the kitchen from the dining area had cubbyholes on the kitchen side, but no drawers. I repeat, NO DRAWERS for utensils such as knives, forks, a can opener, a corkscrew, a stun gun, a cheese grater. However, the stove and oven combo was a joy to behold. I could cook a meal for a multitude with this appliance, but what to do with the dishes afterward? The baby dishwasher only did dinner for two.

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

I’m sorry if I sound like a whiner, but I must confess that I would have gladly traded in le pissoir for a standard-sized dishwasher. (It’s not every day you can say that, can you?) I’d have gladly thrown in the bidet to make the deal. What would visitors be doing with a bidet when just coming over for a cup of oolong? I really don’t want to think about it, do you?

So, I asked myself, what to do with that bidet in the WC? (Or the urinal for that matter.) I could stack the dirty dishes in it after a dinner party so they’d have a place to hang out while waiting for their turn in the dishwasher. Or I could fill it with water and start a goldfish farm. I decided to put a plant in it. A big fern. It would make a charming, artistic composition, don’t you agree?

Conclusion: To bond with your bidet then, you first get on your knees and get to know it, then you put a plant in it.


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