Monday, April 27, 2009

The Missing Piece

Although I am typically inspired to write by something I’ve seen. this time, I’ve instead been motivated by the lack of something. And not just anything… that commonplace European house fixture that seems so strange and foreign to most Americans… the bidet.

Nacho and I recently moved apartments. Our new apartment has two full bathrooms, both completely redone, and both lacking a bidet. Truth be told, in this day and age a bidet “sobra” (isn’t necessary) in most apartments, but even so most new construction and remodels still feature them. Our current landlord, an architect, clearly felt that it was a waste of space. And I, thankfully, agree. I’d rather have the open space.

But all of this got me thinking… is the missing bidet not somehow symbolic of the blending of cultures that we witness nowadays… the same phenomenon that sees Starbucks and McDonalds in every major city the world over? So I started looking around my apartment for some sign, some indication that what I have is indeed an apartment in Madrid. And I couldn’t find a single thing. It’s almost a kind of “evolution” of homes. Those fixtures which make life more efficient, simpler, more comfortable, are beginning to appear throughout the world and those which are no longer needed are disappearing. The bidet is the vestigial wisdom tooth that no longer serves its purpose while the Crockpot-like cookers popping up in the stores and the automatic coffee makers replacing the moka pot in many homes are those organs which helps us lead a leaner, meaner, faster, "better" life. Slowly but surely, the daily life, from the food we consume to where we live, both on this side of the ocean and on the other side is losing its cultural definition.


JustMe said...

Maybe the actual size of the rooms labels your apartment as European.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how a bidet isn't necessary. I think it is incredibly odd that Americans-normally obsessed with cleanliness-don't have this item in their bathrooms.

Amy said...

You are possibly right about the room size. It certainly tells me I'm not in Suburban America!!

And I think the use of the bidet is obviously something quite personal. It's simply not standard practice in the States and I consider it wasted space. Unless, of course, I need to wash my feet. Thanks for reading!