Sanitorios


Please don't throw away your toilet paper in the toilet!

Just a word of warning if you go to Mexico. Don’t expect comfort seating in the bathroom if you stray far from the traditional tourist areas. If you don’t have regular bowel movements, the typical Mexican diet will have you visiting the sanitorio regularly. But make sure you always carry loose change because you need two pesos to use most sanitorios. And only after you pay will someone hand you toilet paper if you really need it. What I noticed in most bathrooms, since I am a regular guy, was that most toilet seats were either broken or missing. Missing, I assume, because someone stole it, or, broken, I assume, because someone caught the perpetrator in the act of stealing it. Of course, this wouldn’t pose any problems for the average woman, since I understand that their buttocks have never actually touched the toilet seat of any public bathroom. And all public bathrooms have a wastebasket next to the toilet for you to dispose of your used toilet paper. If you put the toilet paper in the toilet and flush it, the toilet will back up. However, most people fold the used toilet paper and all you see is white in the wastebasket. Of course, in some homes, you can actually flush the toilet paper.

As gross as all this may sound, this is actually an improvement in sanitation from when I went to Mexico as a boy. I remember having to cut newspapers into small squares that would be placed on a nail near the toilet bowl and the accompanying wastebasket. I really hated wiping myself with newspaper because you had to use extreme caution not to scrape yourself. However, once I spent a week on a farm in Mexico, I stopped complaining about the newspaper. On el rancho, I had to go really bad. I mean I held it as long as I could, until I thought I would burst. You see, we had to go to the pig sty to do our duty and then wipe ourselves with a corn husk. As a nine-year-old boy, this terrified me, especially after the first time. I entered the pig sty, dropped my pants to my knees, and squatted. A few pigs gathered round to watch me. Before my feces even hit the ground, the pigs had gobbled them up! Ditto for the soiled corn husks!

So, if you go to Mexico, be thankful for the improvements in the sanitation system.

¡Ay! ¡I forgot to get the toilet paper!

Published by

David Diego Rodríguez, Ph.D.

I write about whatever comes to mind. También enseño español y escribo acerca de los mexicanos y la enseñanza del español.