01 July 2010

Bak Mandi

A bak mandi is a tiled tub built into the corner of the bathroom that can be filled with water. A plastic scoop is used to bathe, "wipe" and flush the toilet. A drain in the corner of any bathroom turns it into a shower. It can get pretty wet. In Indonesia you quickly get used to bathroom floors and toilets being soaked.

In Yogyakarta, my homestay had a modern shower with hot water. I was therefore a bit--no, make that incredibly--apprehensive when I found out my new shower was basically a large bucket of cold water and a scoop.

Much to my surprise I adore the bak mandi. It is very refreshing. The trick is to start low (feet and ankles) and work your way up.  Bathing in a bak mandi in Indonesia reminds me a bit of playing in a sprinkler on a hot summer day as a child. It's a good thing I like it because it's culturally unacceptable to bathe less than two times a day.

 I use the faucet on the left to wash my hair--highest water pressure

  XXL Grande bottle of water for brushing teeth

Note the pedicure--hello contradiction

                                                           Traditional Flushing

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