How to be super European (A lesson in bidets)

By Sara Wiseman


The street music is filling the piazzas, the bra-less gypsies are flipping their fruitless cups and it’s a great day to be in Europe. You’re strolling past the Pantheon with your linen pants, baguette and flowing scarf exploring the new surroundings.

“You look super European!” a friend says.

Like the ugly duckling getting hit on by the high school quarterback, you giggle and can’t help but think you’re more awesome than you give yourself credit for. You just moved up a class.

While this compliment had a flattering effect, some questions Americans must ask themselves are:

  • How dedicated are you to culturally immersing yourself?
  • Is Cloris Leachman still alive?
  • What does being European mean?

Most important being the final question and I can tell you the answer. Being a European means comfortably washing your bottom on the reg in a device called the “bidet.” And so, the ultimate question for those “super European” Americans is: How dedicated am I to this whole bidet thing?

My personal answer (and I know the question was just burning) is that I have zero dedication to the use of this cleansing contraption. Here are my suggestions for alternative uses for the bidet and how to deal with its presence in your new apartment.

1) Create your own beautiful fountain
You’ve seen all of these gorgeous fountains around town. Now, make your own! The sound of the bidet’s running water can create a spa-like experience. A tasteful decoration with small potted plants and miniature sculptures can make it just like “The Secret Garden”…only with more toilet paper.

2) Wash your filthy feet
For some reason, living in Europe has two main effects on me: constant dehydration and disgustingly dirty toesies. Your bidet can lend a helping hand in this sense. Just pop your feet up into the porcelain bowl and effectively clean your feet! This can also save you some money on a pedicure.

3) Clean a batch 
Laundry abroad can get really expensive and so, a bottle of laundry soap and a trailblazing spirit can easily solve this problem. Simply use your bidet to wash your essentials! It will save you from occupying more important space and can save you a loaded trip up and down what seem like thousands of stairs.

4) Water balloon fights
We’re all adults here. We can pay taxes, complain about politics and check our oil. But I’ll tell you what, you’re never too grown up for an old fashioned water balloon fight. And if you disagree, enjoy your life and expect to get blasted with a water balloon as soon as I find you.  Your bidet can function beautifully for ammunition reload in the trenches of a water balloon altercation.

5) Act like you use it and make people feel dirty 
But lastly, the most effective use of your bidet is to act as if you use it and make your friends feel lesser for not. Making people can be fun when you actually make them feel weird for not straddling this porcelain beast and washing themselves.   With any luck, you can convince your roommates to start using it and make fun of them.

I hope you’ve taken some of my suggestions to heart and enjoy the coming months of bathroom shenanigans.

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