Accessible Algarve

My Bidet

First Published January 11th 2011 by Constance 


Even now after years of living with a bidet, I still have not mastered (mistressed?) the porcelain beauty that sits  in every bathroom we have lived.

I know the concept and no, you will not read an explanation or see diagrams for use here on this page….sigh of relief. Before my great escape to Portugal, I even asked a well traveled friend for bidet instructions knowing I would be close and personal with this extra fixture in my new life. She was laughing so much she wasn’t much help. By my age, frankly, I am embarrassed by not knowing about something most of the western world just takes for granted. 

Needing more information, I went to Wicki, my antidote for ignorance. I now know France is responsible and which way I am supposed to face. Bidet is the French word for pony…get it, you ride it like a pony. Anything you want to know about bidets, here is the link:


In my small cidade, even the most modest of homes has a bidet, usually tucked into the corner between the sink and the toilet. For my large Americana hips, just getting the right parts in the right place is a challenge. Then, there should be a small towel hanging helpfully on a special little hanger by it. Sorry, I cannot touch the little towel, just like I cannot touch the machines in public bathrooms when the rotating towel has stopped. I don’t know where it’s been, or in the bidet towel’s case, I do know where it’s been. Right there is a big ick factor, even if it’s my own private bidet…still I can’t flush a towel and well, shit! 

Don’t jump to any conclusions here that I have some sort of weird bathroom phobia, I don’t. Spending lots of time taking care of “business”, in all senses of the word.  I have peed  in China where a hole is a W.C. and if the holes have a raised place for your feet, it is a very good hole indeed. McDonalds had lovely holes. China is strictly B.Y.O.T.P.; bring your own toilet paper. The hotels I was lucky enough to stay in were western so they had the all the fixtures of home (including the occasional bidet) so my China W.C. experiences were when I was working or out and about. But still, a hole is a hole. 

The citizen and I have discussed my thoughts on the bidet and the towel and he feels that using a bath towel is the same thing as a bidet towel. Yes, that is a sensible argument, but this has nothing to do with common sense, I believe I am bidetaphobe. 

Not to say our bidet does not get used, it does! I find it very handy for washing the bottom of my shoes when I step in something that needs to be cleaned off. Great for putting the sandy beach shoes in for a wash as we don’t have an outside hose. It has hot and cold water and a drain. Or, when I wash my floor that is where the dirty water goes, not the kitchen sink or the tub…the bidet! Also, I put the cleaning supplies in it when I clean the bathroom, very handy to have them all there in one location. 

Lately it's been my "almost to the laundry basket " clothes.  Very handy if the doorbell rings when getting out of the shower, usually a sundress is there.  Some friends put their magazines in them for passing time while doing their thing.  Come on, everyone reads in their bathroom, admit it. Best use, besides the obvious is to ice down beer and wine for a party in theirs.  Our cats like to play or nap in it so it's nice to have it.


As my big Americana hips shrink due to a healthy diet, perhaps I will be riding that pony at some point. As for now, my bidet is not doing what it was born to do, but perhaps it’s happy with its new chores. 

I just thought of a new use, a place to re-pot and water the plants! I believe I am beginning to love my bidet.

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