Pic of the day 15 – Loo paper rules!


Yes that is right…once you have wiped your bum, or indeed anything else, then here in Ecuador you do NOT flush the paper down the loo. There’s usually a written notice up to remind you, but this pic is from a loo wall mural at Cafe Hood in Banos.

This is initially unnerving for western Europeans, hygiene conscious as we are, and goes against our natural instincts. But it’s true – in 9 out of 10 toilets you use here you cannot just flush away after wiping. Now you don’t have to take it home with you, you just put it in the bin next to the loo. Which ain’t so bad if it’s your loo, but if it’s a public loo, and it’s late in the day…well we won’t go into graphic details here.

Another bit of public toilet etiquette to get used to is paying to use a public loo – especially at bus stations, markets, shops, beaches etc. The going rate is 15 cents (10p) and you get a few sheets of paper to use. Taking your own loo roll does not exempt you! And men beware, you can’t get away with it by saying you just want to use the ‘urinario’, that’s 10 cents (or 6.5p) a go. It’s a great way to use up your small change!


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