Free hit counter


By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


Practical (but taboo) question on Indian toilets

If, like my mother, you have already found yourself in a bathroom/toilet/loo/water closet without paper (OH. MY. GOD.) and that you have wondered how the hell you would get yourself out of this situation, this note is for you...

India,toilet,paper,water,dryingIf you have traveled in India, (like my mother), you will have realized that women and men use water (and not paper) to clean themselves after action. I also wrote quite a bit on the topic (see these posts). So far so good. My mother understands. But what bothers her is: how do they dry themselves? Because – and I hope that all the girls are aware about it – if you don’t dry your ‘thing’, it is guaranteed that it will be nicely smelly in the evening!

I confess I had also asked myself the question without looking for an answer though since when I had found myself in this situation – with water but no paper – I had just grabbed the first piece of cloth I could find on myself and assumed that Indian women would do the same, maybe with their dupatta (the scarf they use a little bit for everything, from hiding their breast to cleaning a baby’s running nose) or their sari.

When I asked the question to a colleague, she looked completely taken aback – like this had never happened to her – and after thinking for some time, she explained to me that women use the back of their hand to dry their daisy.

I sought confirmation from my nanny, who was not surprised nor hesitant: it’s the sari which is used to dry!

So now you sleep less stupid tonight if you have read this through ;)


Not fresh my fish??

bombay duck,fish,dry fish,bangda,harpodon neherius,mumbai,india,fishing,peak season,drying,processing,name,koli,fishermen,purnima narial,unhygienix,asterix and the toothsayer,asterix and the great crossing,fishmonger

It all started a few months after I arrived in Mumbai…

I had been hunting a rat in my flat, without success, when this horrid smell started. Shit, it must be dead in an impossible place to find!! I started looking anyway, without success again.

I then stepped out of my flat, only to realise that the whole neighbourhood smelled of dead rat!

To be accurate, of dead fish.


And here we are, 3 years later, when I finally decide to look into it. The thing that has “bothered” me the most is that this is not a constant smell. It will someday come, stay the whole day and then disappear. So I wondered why…


After some research, I think it depends on 2 things: 1. when the fishermen go fishing which is linked to the moon, 2. the way the wind blows when the fish is drying.


To go a bit into details:

Read more ...