Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bidet or no bidet?

We are positive one of the questions you might ask is “what kinds of bathrooms do they have in Spain?” In the past, we have experienced the amazing variety of bathrooms in Spain from the luxurious to the primitive (read: small hole in the ground—ask Brother or Father of Ken about this the next time you see them). Mercifully, the cuartos de baño we have experienced so far have been excellent and of this century.

In our high tech hotel in Madrid, we were amazed and pleased by the absence of a bidet. Instead, the hotel used the bidet money to install a large state of the art hydro massage shower and an ultra modern sink.
Here in Salamanca, our bathroom is much more traditional with the lurking presence of the bidet, which we still don’t understand how to use. Not that we want to. The shower has posed a bit of a problem as it does not have a curtain, but instead, a swinging glass wall that is about 2.5 feet wide. The result is that you have to strategically position the shower head so that water hits you above the waist only when you stand plastered in the corner of the shower stall. If you fail to do this, the entire bathroom is soaked. We have learned this through bitter experience and we are sure that the women who clean our room laugh at the state of the bathroom floor every day.

Thus far, we have been extremely pleased by the quality of our hotel rooms. By comparison, English hotels, or at least the one we had in London, consisted of a series of oddly shaped small closets with beds. Some fortunate people had a bathroom in their closet while others were required to share the W.C. with roving bands of Swedish tourists. We’re part Swedish, so it’s okay if we make fun of Swedish people. Spanish hotels, on the other hand, consist of normal rooms made up of right angles and are generally more spacious than British hotel closets. Our room in Madrid, for example:

Also, there are elevators here, although they only fit one person at a time. In England, we had to drag our luggage up the stairs.
In the English hotel, we had to guard our breakfast tables at all times against marauding bands of Swedish tourists who frequently attempted to “pinch” the hard, crusty rolls that were standard breakfast fare. Occasionally, in an attempt to avoid such a high stress breakfast experience, we would venture out into the city to a restaurant and Father of Ken would order the Full English Breakfast. The FEB is the equivalent of a Denny’s Grand Slam with the addition of a bowl of baked beans. Ken and Mother of Ken would sit at another table.

In our hotel in Salamanca, we have a sumptuous breakfast buffet available every morning and, while there are often other tourists eating with us, they remain at their own tables and do not steal food from ours. Offerings include: café con leche, Cola Cao (hot chocolate), orange juice, pineapple juice, a variety of smoked meats and cheeses, apples and pears, large slices of green striped melon, yogurt, donuts, cookies, the Spanish equivalent of Little Debbie snacks, croissants, rolls, toast, and cereal. There are no baked beans.

1 comment:

Leah said...

1. Bidets make me think of the part of Wet Hot American Summer where the talent show emcee says that a group is going to be singing "Day Bidet" instead of "Day By Day."
2. "We are part Swedish, so it's OK if we make fun of Swedish people." You sound like Tim Whatley, becoming Jewish for the jokes ("This offends you as a Jew?" "No, it offends me as a comedian!"), or my mother with her Polish jokes.
3. ABBA is Swedish. You should sing "Mamma Mia" to them.
4. I want a breakfast like that right now, even though it is lunchtime here.