Monday, November 2, 2009

Bum Gun ???

Ok, so this has been on my mind since we made our first visit to Muscat in May - the infamous toilet hose and its place in Omani society. Curiosity (and survival^) finally got the better of me and I actually googled Arabic toilets/toilet hose/Oman toilets = endless images and info :-)

The toilet system here is a little different to the Western world, much like many of the ones in Asian countries. This can definitely be confusing at first *tilt head to the side, eyebrows squeezed* kinda confusing and quickly escalate to panic!

Walking into your first Arabic toilet (this one actually has a seat, whereas once out of the city many are holes in the floor with foot pads) is an experience to say the least...and I'm sure vice versa for our Omani compadres when visiting our shores.

The floors are wet (often the seat too...begs the Q - wee or water? hmmm), there is sometimes a strategically placed squeegee, and often no TP. I must admit this scared me at first - no TP and only a "Bum Gun" (not my term, read the article)? How? (picks it up, inspects and looks around). Where? (looks down at body). Shriek! The horror...

And when I say scared, I don't mean that I thought it was dangerous, I just mean scared because I didn't know how to use it if forced to AND avoid soiling my entire outfit, shoes and looking like a wet dog once I exited the bathroom!

I had a good idea of 'what' it was for but no idea of the process in doing so. Oh the joys of being a woman, no explanation required I'm sure. I actually carry a pack of tissues with me everywhere in case I am stuck in a sorry situation since I wee every 5 seconds to Duma's amusement and wonder :(

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first article/blog that I have read where many Westerners actually prefer the Bum Gun method, but this Aussie couple aren't game enough just yet to give it a go...

^ re: survival - I have had 2 job interviews at one relatively large organisation and upon my 2nd visit, I asked where the bathroom was. Upon entering, shock horror there were 2 toilets, each equipped with a bum gun and NO TP!!! Needless to say I went to Lulu immediately after and stocked up on handy pack tissues and thus the googling for more info...actually, I wonder if there is a youtube video???


  1. Better Bum Gun than Bomb Shelter (ceramic hole with food prints)!! I also have a permanent pack of tissues in my bag, for various reasons!

  2. I laughed out loud reading this, I'm kind of intrigued as to how it works, too. Also, it seems like women would have to have some pretty superior quad/core/hip strength to get out unscathed. I'm enthusiastically awaiting an update ;-P

  3. ROFL....

    First thing I bought on my last trip back to RSA was a camping toilet seat - basically a small canvas camping chair with a hole in it... if I travel the country I pop that into the car...(all of the inland public toilets are the crouching kind) NO FREAKING ways my hips n knees can crouch like that...

    With regards to the hose - I insisted hubby remove it from the one bathroom - and now I miss it.... it works quite nicely for cleaning the floors and the baths etc... LOL

    Damn I love your blog...

    saffer (again!)