Toilet Travel Rules

I remember when taking a dump used to be something that needed very little thought, but in South America you’ll need a sound and effective toilet strategy. Here’s mine.

1. Flush before you sit. Not only to clean smears left by your dorm mates but to make sure the toilet isn’t clogged. Sometimes you know it’s clogged but you have to go so bad that you decide to deal with the repercussions later (actually you let the cleaning lady deal with the repercussions). I took a memorable dump in Bolivia in a broken toilet bowl that was still there one day later.

2. Flush often. Your log will not make it down. I repeat, your gigantic shit log will not make it down a South American toilet. I’m not saying chop it up with a stick but if you know a log is coming then access the toilet in a more discrete manner so no one knows you fucked everything up. Otherwise just keep flushing until it goes down. I clog toilets about 25% of the time, which makes every shit the possible highlight (or downside) of my day.

3. If you’re a guy, protect your penis head. Don’t let it touch the toilet bowl because god knows what will infect your hole. Either cradle your package with your hand or lay a little toilet paper curtain in front of it. The method I select depends on my mood and how long I estimate the shit will last.

4. Pay attention to the toilet paper. While most hostels give you toilet paper that has the consistency of elementary school construction paper, often times one side will be softer. Use this soft side to avoid the abraded anus (no big deal since it heals in a day or two). If you start seeing blood on the toilet paper then it’s probably time to buy your own toilet paper.

5. Time your dumps to the maid cleaning schedule. They usually clean the bathrooms in the afternoon (1-2PM) while the gringos are doing whatever the Lonely Planet tells them to do. There is nothing like being the first to take a massive shit in a sparkling clean bowl. If you travel to South America as an evening shitter like me then just hold it overnight one day to put yourself on an afternoon shit schedule.

The dirtier the toilet bowls, the dirtier the stomachs, the dirtier the country. Peru and Bolivia are big winners here, with bathrooms that look like it was play time for kids with diarrhea water balloons.


  1. terps October 22, 2007 at 9:44 am

    funniest post ever!

  2. Genevieve October 22, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Peru and Bolivia are big winners here, with bathrooms that look like it was play time for kids with diarrhea water balloons.

    Good tips. Especially numbers 3 & 4. I can’t even imagine toilet paper feeling like that. It makes my ass hurt just thinking about it. 🙁

  3. Josh October 22, 2007 at 9:57 am

    You aren’t allowed to flush TP in Greece, so my roommate and I there a few weeks ago decided to use the community bathroom on the hotel’s first floor anytime we had to deuce… worked out well.

  4. roissy October 22, 2007 at 10:10 am

    #3 is crucial. i had a head-touching incident once and a vigorous scrubbing with hand soap followed immediately afterwards. i still shudder when i think back to that.

  5. mike says October 22, 2007 at 10:29 am


    I was going to start quoting but there’s just too much going on here…chopping it up with a stick….the abraded anus (sounds like a dive bar)…diarrhea water balloons…literally laugh-out-loud hilarious

  6. suicide_blond October 22, 2007 at 10:54 am

    i say we start a band named either “abraded anus” or “diarrhea water balloons” …. i suppose it will depend on the genre of music which one we pick..

  7. shadi October 22, 2007 at 11:28 am

    yummy, my breakfast just came back up. you are giving a whole new definition to GI problems on these posts. well, at least your pipes are workin. so congrats?

  8. eugenius October 22, 2007 at 11:43 am

    wow funny post, and so detailed…..I am taking notes on a lot of these since you seem to have the “shit game” down.

  9. Anonymous October 22, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    hmmm.. In my travel experiences, three golden rules I follow.

    (i) Flush the toilet from a foot away before sitting on it.

    (ii) Use toilet paper to cover the seat, and throw some on the water, to prevent splashing.

    (iii) Eat an apple a day, to prevent toiler clogging, which also helps in a quick in-out strategy.

  10. Secret Reader October 22, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Hi, remember that you can call me at 099-9646805, that’s a cell phone. In Santiago, Bellavista is the best place for one night stands, with a nice selection from local girls and foreign visitors.

  11. inSOMnia October 22, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Very Very funny. Dabbing man what ever happened to that?

  12. Beach Bum October 22, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    I wonder if you’re encountering toilets like that are because you’re staying in hostels — and I hate the generalization about South America — toilets in Brazil are MUCH stronger than any American toilet I’ve ever seen — the flush button is on the wall and it’ll flush for as long as you press the button, there’s not such thing as a water tank and waiting for that to fill up again.

    But then again, I never stayed in a hostel there, so who knows how the hostels’ toilets are like. You better have some nice things to say about Brazil once you get there…

  13. Roosh October 22, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Santiago I called you on Friday! I left a message… or I think I did. No one answered and there was a beep.

    I just called right now (2030 local time) and no answer. My skype number is +001 3016372318. I’ll be on for a couple hours.

  14. irina October 23, 2007 at 12:20 am

    I’ve always wondered what guys do with their penises during a #2!

  15. Anonymous October 23, 2007 at 12:57 am

    oh roosh… only YOU can make shitting so fun and entertaining to blog about!:thumbup

  16. Pingback: travel south america » Toilet Travel Rules

  17. speakeasy April 7, 2009 at 10:37 am

    This is hilarious. After visiting Bolivia, I would add a number 6, be prepared to take a shit in the hills if you have to. Those Bolivian toilets are nightmarish.

  18. Baberuth June 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Wow, haha Roosh first time i’ve seen this one. Hilarious.

  19. macgringo June 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This is so true. I live in Guadalajara Mexico and the the toilets suck. My technique which requires some skill to achieve, is to pinch the log off right before the water flushes out of the toilet. You want to drop that monster when the water is in full whirlpool stage to have any chance of freeing willy. If for some reason you plug the bastard, protocol dictates you lower the toilet lid as not to scare the shit out of the cute girl who works next to in the office.Cheers!

  20. Anonymous August 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Good god. #3 is the worst thing to happen when you aren’t thinking about it.

  21. Carlos October 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

    What about the splash? you know… getting your ass wet because the heavy fall… I hate that in public places… how do you manage it?

  22. Anonymous March 14, 2011 at 8:45 am

    ecuador well the toilets here are always with piss and water on the floor , if you want to sit on the toilet DONT YOU WILL CATCH SOMETHING , dont let you long pants touch the foor it will get wet and smelly , ALL TOILTS SMELL LIKE SHIT AND PISS IN ECUADOR , THE LADY THAT CLEANS THE TOILET SHE WILL SIT THERE AND HAVE HER LUNCH , LIKE SOUP AND HER MEAL DIRTY RACE

  23. neil skywalker August 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Trust me, Bolivian toilets are very clean compared to shitting in a hole in the ground in most Asian countries.

  24. Anonymous September 19, 2011 at 12:34 am

    haha third world shit (pun intended)

  25. wipe this October 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    the dude who ignores this information is an asshole 🙂 !!!

  26. Flary January 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Learning how how to semi-squat over the bowl elimantes (ha, pun) many issues, like #3. It builds the thigh muscles and takes pressure off the anus. Sitting down on a toilet seat is for pussies. Squatting is manly. I use kind of a modified kung-fu horse stance.

  27. Deniski September 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Brilliant ! I laughed out loud 🙂

  28. Anonymous November 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I was shitting in this restaurant toilet in Spain and could not, for the life of me, find the flush handle, there was no button, no knob, no hook, there wasn’t even a back to the toilet to take off the cover and manually flush it! so I had to leave my giant shit there!

    Later I was telling a friend the story and found out that the handle was a STRING! above the toilet!

    Had no idea! Keep an eye out for the string!