The Man Who Sells Me My Toilet Paper


Note the tee-shirt-resting-on-the-belly method of keeping cool, an extremely popular practice in both Nicaragua and West Virginia.

TP can be a difficult item to find in a town with no Western residents or tourists, so we gladly shell out the 25 rupees that old Babu charges per roll (about $.53). Indians don’t use paper; they only use water, and our sweeper, Maloti, refuses to touch our paper refuse, which we place in a plastic bin for fear of clogging the pipes; so it is up to us to dispose of it ourselves which means throwing it onto the trash pile next to the road for the cows to eat or someone to burn.

While we’re on the subject, here’s a picture of our john:


It’s a typical Eastern squatter, which I love for the wonderful shitting-in-the-woods memories it brings me each day. For more on East vs. West, check out Rolf Potts’ contribution to the important academic body of bum-cleaning literature, a crucial topic in any discussion of travel. For an excellent and practical guide to Eastern crappers, visit this Tales of Asia page.

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