So continuing on my bathroom theme....I can feel your excitement, reader. I feel it right through the computer screen....I thought it would be of interest to westerners to learn that most upscale bathrooms in a lot of the malls / hotels / restaurants you will frequent here in Riyadh have a hose in each stall perched daintily on the wall.
I've never touched one, because I'm working on the assumption that the probability of people using the hose prior to doing their business is far outstripped by the probablity that people are using it afterwards. Being Canadian and thus squeamish about anything that could remotely be theoretically dirty, I've often sat and pondered the hose issue. More than once, I have been washing my hands, asking my reflection, "what are you supposed to do with that hose?" But inevitably, once I leave the bathroom my curiosity moves onto other things, and out back in the open air the hose and its mysteries are left behind in the stall.
Well well well. Now we are covering it on my blog. Why? Because yesterday the heavens opened up and all my hose related questions were answered. Now my best guess was that you use it as you would a bidet. You know, to clean your nether-regions. I don't know why I thought it was a good guess...maybe because it was my only guess, because my imagination limits what I would do with a stream of water in a bathroom stall. Looking back, this doesn't make sense, because I've happened upon more than one stall where there was water *everywhere* - all over the seat, the toilet, the floor - everything. Now you are thinking "water gun" right? Well that's not totally off the mark.
Ladies and gentleman, it turns out people use the hose to clean off the toilet!!! After certain people do their business, we shall say...remnants are sometimes left over in different places.... So basically, the hose can help you be confident that the next user will not be shooting you a dirty look as you exit the bathroom.
Anyhow expats, hopefully this will save you from an embarrassing conversation somewhere in Riyadh. **edit - see comments for clarifications from the locals**