Thursday, August 29, 2013

Toilets in Kuwait

Nelson wrote to me, saying that he is coming to Kuwait soon and has concerns about toilets here.  I thought this may be a post of interest to some out there, so I am not just adding his comments as a reply, but right here, in-your-face, so that everyone gets the picture:

Coming to a foreign country can be a scary experience - especially when you venture into public toilets.

Public toilets in Kuwait: Avoid any places government-related would be my advice. Most of the malls and privately-owned toilets are fine. 

Some  public bathrooms are quite grand.  The Sheraton Hotel's bathroom in downtown Kuwait is my ultimate favorite (Squatter photo NOT the Sheraton!)  (Maybe I should start a "Rate the Public Bathroom" poll - think I will...)  The Sheraton's ladies bathroom, outside their banquet hall is marble with gold-plated fixtures.  It is gorgeous.  It has a private seating area for brides and ladies-in-waiting which includes a massage chair. 

Squat toilets are mostly outdated these days with the exception of traditional places (or private homes); where you will usually find both "squat" and "sit". As a woman who enjoys the freedom of being able to wear tight jeans and stilettos, I have conquered the squat toilet to much acclaim; I can do it drunk or sober, in sickness and in health, in variations of seasonal changes. The squat toilet is not to be feared.  It is actually more sanitary than "sit" toilets, as you never touch anything.  Unfortunately, they seem to be smellier.  I have also found that the little foot grooves are often dirty.

Most places in Kuwait have western-standard "sit" toilets. The differences in the bathrooms that you will find here will be:

Bidets: OhmahGod I love bidets!  Just be careful that if you are using one, you check the water temperature first. In the summer, you may just quite literally burn your ass. Bidets are just good, clean fun.  You don't see a lot of Summer's Eve products in this part of the world and there is a reason for that.... just sayin....

Water hoses:  There are water hoses in every stall (and I miss them when I go back to the States).  People use water in this part of the world to clean their private parts. (I do too - MUCH more sanitary and you have that clean, fresh feeling all day.)

Bathroom attendants (a service of the past in Western countries where minimum wage has made them outdated). They can be annoying because they just stand there and you will get the puppy eyes until you give them a tip.  They hold the hand-towels hostage, so they have to hand them to you so they are doing you a service which you feel you must reward them for.  You know that they are only making about 2 cents, so you start digging looking for coins.  Alms for the poor and all that. 

So Nelson, thanks for writing and I hope this answers your questions.  If there are any other interesting Kuwait factoids that I can impart, please do let me know.

PEOPLE:  What is your favorite public bathroom in Kuwait?  What is your least favorite?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Tell us!


Expat and the City said...

Hahahaha! We are blogging sistahs for sure.

AG said...

My favorite bathroom in Kuwait has to be the Sahara Club. It always has this yummy lemon scent which makes me hungry... and I can't say ANY bathroom has ever made me hungry before.

Before arriving here to our house in the US, we had the hose installed next to the toilet. Our contractor initially thought it was to be installed next to the kitchen sink.

Hmmm, I kinda miss Kuwait bathrooms lol.

Rob said...

The men's toilets in Al Kout mall possibly have to be the worst I've ever used. I've used long-drop toilets in the African bush that didn't smell as bad (and were cleaner).

Zuzana Dvořáková said...

Now it is 2017. Is there anything else about public toilets? I read that restaurants sometimes do not have public restrooms. Is it true? I'm sorry, but from Europe and the US, I learned that this is not a problem. Are in Kuwait public toilets for example - on petrol stations, beaches, shopping malls?
Thank you. I am little bit worried...

Desert Girl said...

Zuzana - Most higher class restaurants have bathrooms and they have (what they call here) "French toilets" - meaning Western/sit toilets. Sometimes you will go to a restaurant in a mall that has the public toilet inside the mall and not the restaurant, but it is not a big issue. Petrol stations have public toilets (never been in one and don't want to even in my home country). Beaches, some do and some don't - depends on the beach. Shopping malls - yes for sure and even the oldest souq in Kuwait (Mubarakia - which happens to be my favorite) has reasonably clean public toilets. Even the ones in the airport have been improved and are clean and well-lit.

Rachel W said...

Great post. I have read another interesting post about western tourists' encounter with public toilets in asian countries. You should check it out too.