One Family's Return Trip: Bathroom Etiquette
Let's face it, the butt of all potty jokes in Colombia is the overflowing trash can in the corner. What is up with that?!?!
At this restaurant there was a sign which read (I tried to take a picture, but it was too dark and when I turned on the flash you couldn't read it sorry!),
- "To Our Foreign Clients: Please do not throw used toilet paper or feminine products in the bowl. It WILL clog! There is a can in the corner provided for your convenience."
It struck me as I read this, "DUH! I haven't ever mentioned bathroom etiquette." If you don't follow the rules, this is where you can get in trouble with your host, your hotel staff, or your in-laws ;).
The norm in Colombia (and might I add much of Latin America) is to not flush used toilet paper down the toilet. I know it seems unsanitary, and admittedly it can get a little smelly, however, that is nevertheless the norm. You can throw it in the can next to the toilet.
That said, many times I have thrown the used paper in the toilet by mistake and flushed it down without consequence. But, be forewarned, if you clog the toilet there are few families or businesses that own a plunger. I have seen people with big black gloves stick their hands in the toilet to try and unclog them. Very yucky! You can imagine the warm fuzzy feelings said person will have towards you when it is all over.
Better to be safe than sorry! :)