Pooping in Costa Rica and Around the World


Everyone poops, but not everyone poops the same.

Like so many other things, different cultures just haven’t found total common ground on this one. In America, I can poop quietly in the comfort of my own bathroom, use some soft toilet paper, and drop it in the toilet, never having to give it a second thought. I leave the bathroom feeling refreshed and relaxed with no stress. It’s a luxury! The sophistication of our plumbing allows this. The dirty, brown, nasty piece of paper can be flushed without worry and disposed of in a very sanitary manner. It’s truly a blessing.

When I visited Spain, I encountered a different kind of pooping. It all seemed normal: flush the toilet paper, get up, and call it a day. But there was a strange device called a bidet next to the toilet. I noticed it immediately as I made my way into the bathroom, and I curiously thought about its use while I was doing the deed, my gaze fixated on the instrument. It looked sort of like a toilet, was I supposed to poop there instead? Is the toilet just for pooping and is that for peeing? Am I doing something wrong?

I never put it to use. It wasn’t until sometime later that I discovered its use.


It’s for cleaning your butt.

Some people like to shower after they poop to take care of everything the toilet paper can’t. I can’t blame them for this. The strange second toilet in Europe eliminates the need to go through all that effort. It’s a convenient butt cleaner, right next to the toilet for you to use so you can get those cheeks squeaky clean. I haven’t used it so I can’t give a firsthand account but it seems really practical. I almost wish America had these; it’s just such a fantastic idea to make up for all the faults of toilet paper.

So what is pooping like in Costa Rica?

Toilet paper is not disposed of through the toilet. Here is not the place to wipe, swipe and drop. You have to wipe, swipe, and dispose!

Unless you’re at a resort, every bathroom in Costa Rica has a tiny little trashcan next to the toilet. You wipe, swipe, and then put that stinky little ply of paper in the stinky little trash can. This might sound disgusting to someone who has the luxuries of dropping it, but in my experience, pooping has not been bad here. I don’t smell anything funky when I’m doing my business unless I ate something funky, and thank God White Castle isn’t in Costa Rica. I’m not going to say that my poop always has a fresh, piney scent to it, but my nose hasn’t had any issues at all.


So why the little poopy trash can?

The plumbing system in Costa Rica doesn’t allow for toilet paper. If you try to flush it down the toilet, it will almost immediately become clogged. I’m no expert, but I do have some thoughts on this. Costa Rica is an extremely eco-friendly country, miles ahead of most countries. They know how to take care of the environment, they’re revolutionaries on the subject. This makes the country healthier and the people healthier. The quality of life goes through the roof when the ecosystem thrives. My thoughts are that they’ve felt that toilet paper is not good for the environment. It’s not natural compared to that other stuff you flush down there. Animals can be hurt by toilet paper, and Costa Rica has a lot of animals! Why hurt the animals and the environment when you can just buy a little poopy trash can.

I’m not totally sure that’s why they poop this way but it makes sense. It’s my personal explanation for the poopy trash can. When you’re done reading this, look up the real reason! Do some research and explore what it’s like to poop in other countries.

John DeSarno


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