Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Toilet Paper

In the Dominican Republic, in the campo, which is the word for village, there are no toilets. If you are lucky you have a latrine - a hole dug in the ground - with a little hut built on top of it, or plastic sheets around it for privacy. Most people will just do as the bears do - and go in the woods.

Obviously there is no toilet paper, so the alternative of choice is a tusa, which is a corn on the cob, without the corn. Having learned this, I assumed that when you wanted to take your trip to the woods, firstly you had to gather wood for the fire. Then you had to go to the river to collect water. Make the fire, boil the water, cook the corn and eat it. Once the husk had cooled you could then take yourself off to the woods armed with your tusa. As long as it was not too late.

Luckily that is not the case. The chickens eat the corn, straight off the husk, so the yards are full of readily prepared tusas, which can be gathered and stacked for whenever the need arises.

We do not live in the campo at the minute, so luckily we have toilet paper. However, we are on an economy drive. Toilet paper costs around 15 pesos a roll which is about 30 pence. But my husband went to do the shopping at a local supermarket and he bought Charmin. A big pack. It cost an absolute fortune. There was no way we could justify spending that amount on toilet paper, especially with 4 men in the house. As it was double thickness, I made them unravel it all and make two rolls out of one - still considerably softer than a tusa.

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