Expat Magazine

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

By Miss Footloose @missfootloose

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your BidetI found myself on my knees last week cleaning not only a bidet, but also a urinal (so elegantly called a pissoir by the French).  This was a new experience for me.  Being of the female persuasion, I’ve never had a close encounter with a urinal, and although foreign hotels and houses in Italy have given me an acquaintance with bidets, I have 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 did not dispose of me, rendering me destitute and forcing me to join the honorable brigade of house cleaners and hotel workers to make a living. I am safely ensconced in what is now my new house in Chisinau, Moldova. It’s tucked away in a small mews near the centru and is shiny and almost new.  It’s a small and modest place by American suburban standards, but it boasts three bidets among its plumbing fixtures, features not usually found in American suburbs.

After living out of suitcases for six weeks, we finally moved into our new abode two weeks ago.  Boxes and suitcases are unpacked, which does not mean everything in them has found a resting place for the next few years.  Heaps and piles still sit on beds and floors.  Because, well, I’m sure you can guess.  This new house is lacking in closets, cabinets and drawers.  What to do with clothes?  Towels and linens?  Our beautifully appointed, tiled bathrooms on the upper level have no place to put the towels and there is no linen closet anywhere.  However the place is rich in wasted space as well as nooks and crannies.  I look in wonder at this professionally finished  place with its hardwood floors and beautifully tiled bathrooms and wonder if anyone remotely female ever looked at the design and layout of the place. Surely not.

Please come for coffee, or a meal some time. And 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 het toilet or de WC (and yes, those midget sinks in them are ridiculous).

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

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

WC: Three close friends

What was the architect thinking?  What was he thinking when he sized out the miniscule kitchen?  It has 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 has cubbyholes on the kitchen side, but no drawers for utensils such as a can opener,  a corkscrew, a handgun cheese grater.  However, the stove and oven combo is a joy to behold.  I can cook a meal for a multitude with this appliance, but what to do with the dishes afterward?  The baby dishwasher only does dinner for two.

Expat Housing: How to Bond With Your Bidet

Fabulous stove. (Fridge is to the left)

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 gladly throw in the bidet to make the deal.  What are visitors 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 what to do with that bidet in the WC?  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.  But I think what I’ll do is put a plant in it.  A big fern.  It will 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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