Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ask Mr. Indonesian Man: Toilet Behavior

Yes, Indonesia is a source of culture shocks for our friends from Europe or North America. After arriving at the Cengkareng airport, it only takes a few kilometers[1] drive away to experience the free-for-all racing bloodbath that is our highway.

To explain some of the mysteries or enigmas of Indonesian cultures, Mr. Indonesian Man will grace us with his presence. Answering questions thrown by people just like you, who are interested in but puzzled by us Indonesians. The only difference is that these people are not real.

But why concern ourselves with serious details? Because if those are what you seek, you're definitely not in the right blog.

Q: Doesn't the name Mr. Indonesian Man sound a bit sexist?
A: Actually, the term "sexist Indonesian men" is redundant.

Q: Now you're not being politically correct.
A: Look, even our vice president suggested to attract Arabian tourists by alluring them with potential harem girls. So don't tell me to be politically correct, I'm Mr. Indonesian Man!

Q: Okay, forget it. I just wanted to ask what's with Indonesian men and their suspicious toilet behaviors?
A: If you ask me, "Indonesian Men and The Suspicious Toilet Behaviors" sounds like a great novel plot.

Q: No, it doesn't.
A: Okay, substitute "Indonesian Men" with "Harry Potter", then.

Q: Can we get back to the topic, please? Thank you. I noticed that after peeing in a urinal, an Indonesian guy doesn't just flush and go. Sometimes he flushes twice or thrice, doing something--I don't know what--before finally leaves the urinal. What is it? An Indonesian toilet ritual? Paying homage to the god of urinal? What?
A: Many--but not all--Indonesian men will, in average, flush three times when using an urinal.

When they flush, they try to scoop some water with their hands and use it to clean their, well, muzzles. And it usually takes two flushes to get it done.

Most of them are muslims and do it because of religious reasons. Muslims must be clean to pray. And let's face it, pee stains on your underwear are not exactly clean. Which is why some men who aren't muslims also do the same. Because even though you probably think Indonesia is a backwater country, apparently we value personal hygiene more than you think. (Or more than some of you practice in your country.)

Q: Yeah, yeah. Spare me the chauvinism. You've only explained two flushes. What's the other one for?
A: Another flush is usually conducted when a guy occupies a urinal, before even unzipping his pants.

Q: What the hell is that for?
A: To check whether there's water or not. It's Indonesia after all. Not everything works.

Imagine getting stuck in a urinal that you couldn't flush. What'll you do? Ask your neighbor? "Yo, can I scoop your water?"

Q: Why not just hop to the next urinal?
A: And you call us barbaric?


: How to tell whether someone comes from the North American continent: They'll ask, "What's a kilometer?"


Finally Woken said...

O man, this is hilarious! You just made me loose the urge to peek inside the gent's... (oops!).

Sandy Eggi said...

apalagi kalo ndak ada wastafel (air) dan tisue .... tersiksa ...

isman said...

You don't have to read the post to lose that urge, FW. Knowing that many men's rooms in Indonesia wouldn't be that clean is enough.

I know I wrote that we value personal hygiene. But toilet hygiene is a different matter.

isman said...

Pake duit kertas dong, San. Hehe. Gaya dikit, tapi bakterinya banyak.

HabsQ said...

"And you call us barbaric?"


Therry said...

"...Another flush is usually conducted when a guy occupies a urinal, before even unzipping his pants.... To check whether there's water or not. It's Indonesia after all. Not everything works"

I do that too! And it's even harder for us women when we have finished our business and it turns out there is no freaking water, so the safe thing to do is to check first, which is a smart move, I must say!

But there are also times when after I have tested, turns out it was the last batch of water that's left, because the toilet for some reason has decided to act up.

So that's it.

No. More. Water.

Your. Last. Flush. Down. The toilet.

Bloody Indonesian toilets. Kind of remind me of the Airport toilet, which is so revolting beyond anything and that is on International flight!

isman said...

"Kind of remind me of the Airport toilet, which is so revolting beyond anything and that is on International flight!"


Anything... save for our train's toilets.

Anonymous said...

and what if the urinoir has an automatic flushing thingy? what would the Indonesian Man do to get three-flush rule done?

isman said...

Automatic flush toilet is not Indonesian-friendly. It's actually a barbaric device, disguised as a tool of fine-living and taste. A bane of clean life.

Haris, a true Indonesian man, suggested (in my multiplied blog--thefool.multiply.com) that places which use this kind of toilets, such as Plaza Indonesia, should at least grow some plants. That way, we can use its leaves.

Because three-flush action is not a rule. It's just good (and should be common) sense in our particular situation. We can improvise.

Therry said...

but bear in mind that three-flush action wastes a lot of water too...

isman said...

Yes. Which is why it's usually conducted on traditional Indonesian urinals, which usually only emits a trickle of water on each flush. In most traditional Indonesian urinals, you can't even water a potted plant with it.

There are exceptions, of course, ones I'd call "The Evil Toilets". I'll write about it later.

Therry said...

Include images as well!

Wicak said...

for places with automatic flushing thingy there's a couple of tricks that can be done:

- first, the swing. in which the urinator (yeah, i made that up) swings his body a bit to the side so that the sensor detects vacancy. and then he can swing back in position for a flush.

- second, the hand over the wall. in which the urinator put his hand over the sensor on the next urinoir then scoop some water from there. of course the next urinoir has to be empty and short or no separator is in place.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, swing-swing urinoir party for automatic flushing, especially if the urinoirs look like this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Spy_Urinal.jpg

peter said...

Hi Isman

Very funny posting. Here is something I saw elsewhere along a similar theme.




isman said...

Ugh. Pictures. Now that's a tall order, Therry. You're asking me to snoop into some of the zones that will sap away most people's appetites, carrying a camera. And then, take photographic evidence in a way that won't make the readers of this blog lose their lunch.

Sounds great.

isman said...

Wicak my man. I'm going to appoint you as Sergeant. Your callsign would be Toilet Swinger.

Ah yes, dekisugi. That lovingly spy-urinal. As if we didn't have enough pressure already with urinals that look like a sperm deposit tube.

Halo, Peter. I've read the linked post. I failed to see the logic between not using water to wash and toilet paper to wipe (that--according to the post--that many Arabians do). That is common sense. The author eloquently described my amazement.

Therry said...

i just don't know how some people manage to take a dump and clean themselves with toilet paper only, and no water whatsoever.

it's impossible! it just makes by ass itchy!