I recently spent a few months travelling around South America and soon stumbled into a minefield. A metaphorical minefield of social embarassment and practical problems that the guide books did little to alleviate. The problem? What to do with the toilet paper after it had been "used".
I have to admit that I'd imagined that in most countries in the world, putting toilet paper down the toilet was the accepted method of disposal, but if you're a Western European or similar type of person and you decide to do a bit of travelling, where you put the paper can suddenly turn into a bit of a problem – at least until you get the hang of the country and their rules.
Now, fair enough, there are plenty of guide books and you'll probably have one (if not, feel free to click a link and buy something, it all helps pay for hosting), and some books for some countries were quite specific, but many aren't, some don't mention it at all and there were some glaring omissions when you could really do with knowing; this is the product of a spare few weeks when I got back.
So, if you're a travelling sort and don't have access to, or are a bit shy to ask, a local, the bits of information collected here will hopefully help you out in those occasional sticky situations.
Where do I put the paper?
If you flick through the lists at the top you'll find a list of countries and what to do with the paper after you've finished with it; I won't claim that it's entirely accurate or complete, it's a partially exhaustive list of where to put the paper after you've visited the little boys' or girls' room. I have tried to be accurate, but there's bound to be some mistakes, so let me know if you know better (email and contacty bits liberally dotted about).
And of course, if there are instructions given to you locally, follow them. I don't want to be held responsible for an international incident if you bung up the bog somewhere posh.
As I was fiddling about with this site again, it occurred to me how many countries don't have access to decent water, let alone toilets. So, if you want to help, go to the Toilet Twinning website, donate, and make a difference. I've just bought a latrine in Liberia.
Oh, and if all the pages looks rubbish and don't work properly in whichever browser you're using I apologise, that's because I can't do internet.
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