Friday, October 30, 2009

Cultural Differences: The Jet

As an American living in Saudi Arabia, I have had to adjust to many cultural differences. Overall, I have adapted very well, but my American psyche cannot get used to the idea of not having toilet paper in the bathroom.

Don't misunderstand me, Saudi Arabian culture is very clean and concerned about personal hygiene. For example, hands, and sometimes feet and head are washed before many meals.

Perhaps because of their will for frequent washing, the Saudi Arabian alternative to toilet paper is the water jet. Those water jets which I have tested are all quite powerful and difficult for a beginner like myself to control. Besides getting one's clothes all wet, there is something unsettling in my American mind about aiming such a strong jet stream at the body's most sensitive areas.

A word to wise Western travelers - if you don't think you can handle the jet, carry your own paper.


  1. Hi Nathan,

    man you have to get used to it. it is about the aiming :P and you can control the power of the jit to make it less powerfull.

    I've been reading your posts but never commented and this is my first comment.

    Good luck and keep it up :)

    Moe Al Rehaili

  2. haha! I love your posts! :) I usually find toilet paper (granted, I haven't been to KSA - just UAE and Jordan), but maybe because I'm a girl. I actually like the bidets and jets! They do take some getting used to...

  3. Dude you just cracked me up.. after a full day with an –idiotic- so called new boss of mine this is exactly what I needed. Thank you for the afternoon lift up, at least now I can go back to my wife with a loving smile and a warming hug instead of being a hungry food demanding Bedouin with an “up side down” face.
    This is my first time on your blog, but it won’t be my last so keep it up…