Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Plumbing problems

My shower drain started draining very slowly over the past couple of days, and today nearly didn't drain at all. Then my toilet stopped flushing, and no amount of plunging was helping. I told my coworker and he arranged for a plumber to come over (since my coworker speaks fluent Chinese, and I do not). And here's what the plumber told me...rather, mimed to me after he realized me no speak mandarin (yet!)...

So no more flushing toilet paper down the toilet. Into the waste basket it shall go. This makes me somewhat sad, but I'll adapt. This was the custom in Guatemala when I visited a few years ago, and in areas of Nepal, and now I'm wondering... just how much of the world has this custom of not flushing toilet paper due to the sewage systems not being able to handle it. After doing some online reading and speaking with other travelers, it seems most places are like this, except for Europe and North America? Just curious.

Looks like I'll be making more frequent trips to take my trash to the dumpster.


  1. As if dealing with a plumbing issue wasn't hard enough, you had to add a language barrier to the mix. I'm glad things were resolved rather quickly though. Thanks for sharing your experience, EJ. I think this could serve as a good lesson to people who travel or plan to live overseas so the situation can be avoided.

  2. Oh I hope he managed to fix the problem despite the language barrier. It seemed like there’s more to this plumbing trouble than just a clogged drain, since your toilet won’t flush too. Anyway, whatever it was, I hope it’s fixed now.