If memory serves right, this is my second article on the topic of taking a shit in Latin America.
First one can be found here in which I discuss how it’s not uncommon to see homeless folks shitting outside right in front of you down here.
At any rate, it’s obviously a very intellectual topic worthy of discussion, no?
Because, you see, there are cultural differences between the US and Latin America.
In order to make it down here, one must assimilate to the culture!
And that involves, in my opinion, being aware of the possibility that your toilet doesn’t have enough toilet paper.
Now, that doesn’t sound like much of a topic, does it?
After all, the same issue could happen in the US theoretically speaking.
In fact, one time it did!
Just a few years ago, I was in a Target in my hometown in Iowa and I had to take a shit.
My mom yelled something at me like “But Matt, we have to hurry! The turkey is cooking in the oven!”
Well, jokes aside, she didn’t actually have a turkey in the oven.
We had to visit an aunt in the hospice home.
But the aunt did have to wait a few extra minutes because I had an avalanche of shit ready to torpedo the nearest toilet.
To my unfortunate luck, the first toilet just didn’t have enough toilet paper and I forgot to check.
So, being lucky this time, I was able to move to the next stall without anyone else in the bathroom so I can finish my business.
Now, in all of my 18 and more years living in the US, I think that is the only case where I legit was encountered with a lack of toilet paper.
In Latin America?
Well, as I said, you have to assimilate to the culture!
It does seem like people down here prefer not to wipe their asses because there’s always a lack of toilet paper in so many of the public bathrooms!
Which should serve as a warning to you in multiple forms…
First, if a Tinder gal in Latin America wants to do anal, ask her to wipe her ass first if she tells you that she used a public bathroom before visiting you.
Second, in all seriousness, make sure to always be wary of the public toilets in Latin America.
Some places worst than others.
This topic actually came to my attention because some guy posted an article on a Facebook group for expats living in Mexico City.
In the article, he briefly mentioned the necessity to carry your own toilet paper with you in case you ever get diarrhea from bad food and need to take a shit urgently.
Now while I disagree with him on how bad street food can impact you down here…
Though that obviously depends on the person…
I do agree that, as a general rule, it’s not a bad idea to carry toilet paper with you when you are traveling.
The main reason being that many public toilets in Latin America simply don’t have any toilet paper in the stalls…
Or, if they have any toilet paper available, it’s not uncommon for a worker at the front door to hand you some toilet paper when you enter the bathroom.
But, in cases where that happens, the motherfucker literally only hands you like two small ass pieces of toilet paper.
How the fuck are you supposed to clean your ass with just two small pieces of toilet paper that are very thin?
You ain’t doing shit with that.
Granted, I get a lot of men down here aren’t really men…
In the same way that women never fart….
Men down in this part of the world never have to take massive shits because maybe they only eat beta ass salads or something.
I don’t know!
Or maybe so many of the folks down here are comfortable walking outside with shit leaking down their legs as they exit the bathroom.
I don’t know!
And what else?
I don’t know why the fuck they never offer enough toilet paper in the public bathrooms most of the time.
On one hand, I wonder if it’s because the public government maybe doesn’t want to put down funds for sufficient toilet paper?
And, if they could, why do we need a public worker to hand the toilet paper out to us?
Sometimes, from my impression, it seems like that is all the motherfucker literally does as I’ve seen other workers do a quick cleaning of the bathroom from time to time.
So if the toilet paper man isn’t cleaning something (and I’m only assuming he isn’t)…
Does he really only hand out toilet paper?
Nothing else going on?
If they’re paying him minimum wage at least, I wonder how much toilet paper they could buy if they fired him and used his salary for such a cause?
I have no idea.
Minimum wage down here is shit anyhow.
Still, in Mexico, that’d be something like maybe, at the very least, 200 bucks a month?
So that’s 200 bucks of toilet paper that they could provide to the people using the bathroom.
And, if funds are really tight, they could always charge another 5 pesos (25 cents) to people using the bathroom and have those funds for more toilet paper.
It might piss off the poorest of the poor in Mexico or anywhere else in Latin America…
But, in Mexico City, I’ve often seen the fee to use the bathrooms be around 4 to 6 pesos.
Eh, they’ll be OK paying the extra 25 cents.
And, in the long run, it can mean that none of us have to be preoccupied with buying toilet paper ahead of time before using a public bathroom.
Of course, I could be naïve here!
The other theory I have for the lack of toilet paper is maybe they don’t want to include toilet paper in the stalls out of fear that someone will steal them?
A toilet paper bandit!
I could see that actually.
One time, on Facebook, I remember someone asking that same group mentioned before about why there is a lack of public trash cans in the city…
And one person theorized that it’s because someone would steal the trash cans!
Would that happen?
I honestly have no idea but it wouldn’t surprise me.
Unfortunately, despite my time down here, I have let to meet a toilet paper bandit or a trash can thief.
But, as I said in all honesty, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Still, in regards to the original comment about the lack of toilet paper in public bathrooms in Latin America…
As usual, you had very insecure gringos who felt the need to white knight for Latin America by claiming that “it’s never an issue!”
I don’t know what fucking world these people live in.
Do they only reside in the fanciest of apartments in Polanco?
Complete with a maid who doesn’t only clean the apartment but wipes their ass in the bathroom too?
Eh, who knows.
Still, I remember one young Australian lady, who has a reputation in the group for being a real cunt at trying to justify every bad thing that happens down here, taking up to arms to defend the lack of toilet paper.
Where, shit you not (good pun there?), said that she literally stayed the night at an abandoned house in the outskirts of Mexico once…
And they had toilet paper there!
What the fuck?
Was she chilling with the meth heads offering her ass for late night drugs?
Why the fuck would she be at an abandoned house in rural Mexico late at night?
The story, in my opinion, is likely bullshit.
But her point was that, if she can find toilet paper in abandoned houses, then the toilet paper crisis must not be real in most public bathrooms!
Some stupid ass shit, let me tell you.
Did she really think anyone was going to believe this?
Anyhow, in my experience, I haven’t had this issue actually in a long ass time.
Mostly because I have my own apartment now in Mexico City without traveling too much these days.
And I don’t get diarrhoea ever enough to justify having to run into a public bathroom urgently.
But, before my time in Mexico City, I did travel around for a few years.
During my years of traveling constantly, I did find myself in situations where a bathroom is needed.
And that’s where I can relate to the article that this guy wanted to share.
The most memorable case of this was one time I was in a bathroom in some city in Bolivia…
I think it was Oruro because I had left Uyuni and arrived late at night by combi to Oruro.
I think was it Oruro.
Still, I needed to use the bathroom real quick.
I rushed inside and just let it out quick.
Then I realized, in my novice mistake, that there’s no toilet paper.
What did I do?!
Well, I had no choice.
So I took the socks off my feet and wiped my ass with it.
And it was!
No issue with diarrhoea dripping down my leg as I finished my trip back to Cochabamba.
At least, in that circumstance, I knew how I lost my socks.
In most normal circumstances, we all lose our socks randomly, you know?
It’s a common belief.
That socks just seemingly disappear.
Left in the dryer?
Who the fuck knows where they are!
But in that one incident in Oruro, Bolivia…
I knew where my missing socks were….
In the trashcan of a bathroom that heroin users probably hang out at in a Bolivian city known as Oruro.
So at least there’s no mystery with those missing socks…
At any rate, as I said, it hasn’t been an issue for years now because I simply haven’t used a public bathroom in a long time.
The last time I remember doing so was at the airport in Mexico City a few years ago.
Did they have enough toilet paper?
And, being honest, there’s probably some truth there in the contrast between those two examples of Oruro to Mexico City airport…
In my opinion, I’m genuinely inclined to believe that public bathrooms in more developed parts of Latin America have more toilet paper available than poorer parts.
For obvious reasons like lack of funds and maybe more toilet paper bandits.
Granted, I haven’t done a professional study on this.
Have yet to compare the toilet paper quantity on average in bathrooms from Buenos Aires, Argentina to small towns in Venezuela…
Some day I’ll get on it!
Still, that’s all that’s needed to be said.
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Thanks for reading.