India is a beautiful and incredible country full of fantastic food, lovely people, and jaw-dropping scenery. Few countries can match its grandeur.
It’s also home to the handheld bidet, or...butt hose.
You see, in India, most toilets have a hose-sort-of-looking thing attached that you're supposed to stick under your butt to wash yourself.
In fact, most of India thinks toilet paper is actually sort of gross. The logic being, why wouldn't you wash your butt after you poop the same way you'd wash your hands after you poop? Why are a few simple plies of toilet paper sufficient enough to get your downstairs clean?
It's enough to make you wonder: Is everyone in the Western world just walking around with poop on their butts all day? Are we the weird ones? Is the butt hose truly the most hygienic way to clean up after taking care of business?
I'm currently in India right now. This is a selfie I took with an especially good shawarma.
And I can tell you that India's dislike for toilet paper is a real thing. I recently went to a dive bar in Mumbai that just had a bucket and a mug floating in the water instead of toilet paper OR a hose.
If the butt hose is like level 3 on the scale of Indian pooping, I imagine the butt mug is like level 9.
Suffice to say, I've been filling my backpack with tissue and napkins to support my misguided American addiction to wiping my butt with paper.
Every Indian person I've met has said I should try the water. It's just like a bidet, they say, but with more control. But what if I got my pants all wet? I've been afraid to embrace the water.
That is...until today!
My biggest fear was that it was going to be like, I don't know, some kind of garden hose and it would spray all over the place and I'd somehow come out of the bathroom completely sopping wet.
Obviously, that was an insane thing to think. It was nice! Like a regular bidet, but with lot more control. You can really get up in there.
I didn't air-dry, which meant I had to use A LITTLE bit of toilet paper, but I figure with more practice, I could be totally 100% butt hose–dependent in no time.
It's time the West embraced the butt hose. Our pants are full of microscopic shit particles and it's really weird. In 2017 we need to really mix things up, and I think a fundamental rethinking of how we take a shit is a great first step.
Let's make 2017 the year of the butt hose. Let's free ourselves from our paper masters and walk clean and confident into a bright, new — slightly damp — future.
Ryan Broderick is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.