It's time to talk business, what are the bathrooms really like in India? Since all of us have to use a bathroom, and some of us require more facilities than others - this is a serious matter. The options in India range from the side of the road (most common for Indian men) to a standard western style toilet with toilet paper available. However, finding what suits you at the time you need it most can become like searching for a needle in a haystack.
As an American I have a hard time thinking I can successfully use an Indian toilet, see picture above, however I have learned that it really facilitates the "going" (see attached diagram). Can you believe that? I guess we haven't tried in the US hence the need to advertise laxatives on TV. That diagram was actually on a website I found advocating the return to the Indian toilet for "health purposes." The only place I have actually seen this type of toilet was in a few homes we looked at with servant quarters, apparently the help likes a traditional squat. Most often I have tried to time my bio breaks with a trip to the mall, a nice hotel or upscale restaurant. Even then, toilet paper availability is slim. Just today at work, there was not one sheet of toilet paper in the bathroom on my floor, I had to make a quick dash to another floor. If you are wondering why toilet paper is not standard, most bathrooms have a little spigot for water so you can use the left hand to clean and rinse off. I will carry toilet paper in my purse before I conform. These spigots are present in the offices and nice hotels as well, a few times when the rest room has been full, I have paused for a moment to see if I can hear anyone using the spigott. Not yet!
On to toilet paper itself, I am used to shopping at Costco in the US and purchased 30 roles of the economical "Kirkland" brand for roughly $14.99 USD. In India, 10 roles (which a much smaller circumference) were available for Rs700 which translates to $14.89 USD. The kids are getting rationed 3 squares per use :)
Oh and if you are coming to visit me, we have three western style bathrooms equipped with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, flushable wipes and a room freshner.