As any traveler knows, the moment you step outside of your native habitat, two primary and essential cultural questions must immediately be faced: How and what do these people eat, and how do they shit. My good friend Dwight spent a good chunk (no pun intended, well...okay, pun intended) of the year doing readings on the subject of world toilet habits, and the students surprisingly complained. Perhaps it takes facing a wholly alien process of waste management to make the subject seem fascinating. In fact it comprises a good portion of our group talk and joking, and a mixed group of relatively new friends freely and heartily rib each other and discuss their latest scatalogical tales. I know it belies my cultural bias, but it hard for me to believe that we aren't easily one up on the Thais in this area. I have yet to encounter hot water. That makes sense since it averages the high 80's and above. The heat means that showers are frequent and cold. The sink has one spigot and it is set strangely far back, as a rule, from the edge of the counter.
The nicer bathrooms are all tiled. Most have a hand held shower unit that points to the middle of the room. I guess you can take the shower wherever you want that the hose will reach. I just leave it in place though it is pretty low for me.
The paper is not for wiping, however. Instead, one uses the sprayer as accurately as possible to cleanse the affected area and then uses a bit of paper to "dry" it, placing the wet paper in the trash can afterward. The toilet paper and holder is a rarity. More often Thais simply just use the sprayer and depart a bit "wet". It is preferable to the "Indian Handshake" I suppose, and it does get the job relatively done, but I find the whole process fraught with danger. I am always anxious that the sprayer will somehow douse my whole lower half, and each time I half to both hike up my pants from the ground and lower them down from the waist as low as possible.