Greek Toilet Tips for the Greek Traveler
The Greek toilet (and sink too) is usually a smaller, less expensive piece of ceramic than you would ideally put in your dream home. In small villages, most all restaurants, islands, hotels and in Athens too, you'll see an extra waste bin in the bathroom, usually with a lid. This is for the used toilet paper. Its an idea I still have a problem with but its what to do if you don't want to plug up the plumbing and incur the rancor of your hosts and possible surcharges to your bill for plumbing repair. Signs will exhort you to: " not to put anything in the toilet unless you have eaten it first." You don't have to empty the bin yourself hopefully. Just be glad it's not....
The Dreaded Turkish Toilet
As the Turks held sway over Greece for 400 years some traces of their less advanced innovations remain in odd corners of Greece.. just when you'd rather do without them too!
"Kaimaki and Ekmek" being the apogee of their cultural influence, in my opinion. (This is a sweet you should try.) Being in Greece at all was the nadir.
I am sure you are all aware that the Muslims are not allowed to eat with their left hand? Its considered unclean... here's why: After defecation, and not having toilet paper, using their left hand only, they wash with water from a communal bucket placed next to the hole reserved for excrement.
Now washing with soap and water is more sanitary than just wiping but only if the water is clean and you wash your hands afterwards. (A"bidet" would be nice at this point, one with scented soap, hot water and hot air to dry with too!) Or even better one of those fancy hands free Japanese toilets I read about on the plane!
There is usually no toilet paper unless you have some secreted away. One squats in dank solitude, desperately trying to keep sandaled feet clean while aligning ones nether areas over a ridiculously small hole and praying for an accuracy which previous occupants some how never achieved. Large flies seem to delight in tormenting hapless victims also. Make sure you don't get splashed when you flush these puppies too as they sometimes flood and water always splashes around!!
(Older Ferry boat toilet left)
Fortunately they are rare these days. Whew! This is obviously a male invention, ladies, and you have my sympathy! Every cloud has a silver lining? There is no toilet seat to raise or lower so at least that isn't an issue in Muslim domestic relations where the men have several wives that have to please them.
Shower Curtains for the Greek Traveler
On the subject of stuff you'd take for granted back home like screen windows which you wont see in Greece, lets discuss the lack of shower curtains. There are a few depending on the level of your accommodations but don't count on them under A class or Lux.
Greeks solve this problem with a drain in the bathroom floor. Try to avoid soaking the toilet paper as you shower. There are "never" (check to make sure!!!!) by law, any electrical outlets in the bathrooms of Greece so at least you don't have to worry about a 220 volt shock that can kill you. On the other hand an extension cord can come in handy too when you want to use an electric razor.