The first time I saw a bidet was in 1972. I had finished college and was traveling in Europe. There I was in France, a rather young 21 from Minnesota and there was this thing in the bathroom of the small hotel at which I was staying.

I didn’t have a clue. When some one told me it was a foot bath, why would I have a reason to think they were teasing the gullible American

Now admit it – unless you grew up with money, staying in fancy hotels and having your home decorated to compete with the rich and famous, you haven’t always known what one was and what to do with it.

Before any of us embarrass ourselves further – go here and take a look at the article from Wikipedia. Now you know what it is. It certainly is a level better than the ceramic two-footer in the floor with a hose on the wall found in many areas of the world in public facilities.

I always thought they were European, or a sign of wealth. A bit of pretentiousness in a a US household. There has been much engineering work in recent years to combine bidets and toilets including adding drying facilities. At first this did not make much sense to me. But then I needed to consider the implications.

THink for a moment if you are mobility impaired in one way or another. Leaving out the issues of clothing, with one of these new, modern combination fixtures you may be able to toilet independently. Anyone who has every had to ask for help in using a toilet immediately understands the importance of this small bit of control and privacy in one’s life.

There is another market in the US in the massively obese. The ability to be clean can not be underrated.

When you think about it – not an uninteresting invention by 1700s French Cabinet makers from the country which also brought you waxed toilet paper…..

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5 Responses to Bidets

  1. Berg says:

    I was TDY years ago to Germany and told a kid traveling with me that it was a water fountain…I was so mean

  2. Jen says:

    I heard of them in ’75 when I went with my father on his sabbatical to Warsaw. While there we visited my/ my mom’s rels in Sweden. Roaming around Stockholm’s shopping district we saw a clutch of German tourists laughing at a bidet in a window display. (I don’t recall the bidet, though he explained what it was to me/us when he later told the story to family.) So when Ron and I had one in a new build in Brandoberndorf near Butzbach I was content and toddler Cecilia bathed her dolls in it. We rarely felt it was good for bathing rather than a full shower and more often used it for our feet. But fun to show US visitors.

  3. Carmen says:

    Waxed – really?

  4. Beverly says:

    As the owner of not one but two bidets, I can testify to their utility for washing one’s feet! There are also a few movie clips on Youtube on how to use a bidet (properly!). No – I haven’t viewed them, I just know they are there.

  5. Free Ebooks says:

    Your article ProseKnitic – of Words und Wolle » Bidets was in my Google news feed. Nicely done on the article.

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