Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - How to steal toilet paper?
Issue 100A - Hobotraveler.com - December 10, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 5
I am writing this EXTRA tip.
Because - I could not stop myself.
It was too much fun.
For the sake of appearances.
I gave it number 100A and not
101. I would hate to say this is
part of any formal newsletter.
But I be Hobo, There is one rule
and that is there are NO RULES
~ TODAY’S TIP
HOW TO STEAL TOILET PAPER?
I will probably get put on a travel writers
“Hall of Shame” or blackballed from all countries
of the world, plus thrown out of Hotels....
But.... here goes.
This may seem trivial, and contrite.
But I have a moral dilemma and a constant
nagging in my soul.
Should I steal toilet paper?
Should I borrow it permanently?
It is really stealing?
It will be difficult for a lot of you to imagine
and to fully understand this level of
frustration and why anyone would even
consider stealing toilet paper.
But let me set the stage, or maybe
explain the toilet situation of 90 percent
of the world.
I CARRY TOILET PAPER WITH ME ALWAYS
A good traveler, or knowledgeable tourist
understands that toilet paper could be in the
toilet, and maybe not. Better to always carry
some with you.
RESTROOM OR TOILET?
I personally hate using the word toilet.
I use the word “Restroom.”
But the world makes fun of me when I use
this word, and I will give them their due.
The word restroom does not explain in all
languages clearly where I am going and
and for clarity I will use the word toilet.
Please. Other Americans. I apologize for being
so blunt, and crass.
In the USA yes people will understand the
But in the rest of the world they need
to read the word ....”Toilet”
( They say or ask me.
Are you going to rest in there?)
What the hell a WC, or water closet is?
... I have no idea. But that is for other
Do not assume there is toilet paper in
a “John.” A Euphemism for Toilet.
It would seem in a service oriented
world this would be parts of
the service extended to guest in a
Hotel, Hostel, or Guesthouse.
They will usually have the dispenser
for toilet paper. But there is not
any toilet paper.
I WILL NOTE: For some reason
when you pay. 50-100 dollars
a night. For the additional 48 to 98
dollars this is included. Maybe.
(This is the biggest difference
and the swimming pool.)
I have referenced this before.
There are countries that are
“Carry you own.” and their
are countries that are
“Provided.” and there is the large
middle class of countries where.
“Heads or tails,
Who knows. It is a gamble.”
Maybe they will, and maybe they
won’t supply the toilet paper.
Thailand is a....
“Carry you own country.”
You need to always have some toilet paper
on you or in your bag.
This is an Asian country and they have
these squat toilets so they have a better
excuse for being a
“Carry you own country”
There are normally large buckets of water,
a dipper, and other apparatus in most
toilets. A nozzle for spraying.
I do not understand all this, and
think maybe best I do not understand
how all this works....
I will say, and I am trying to capture on
camera a picture of sneaky Thai people..
I have caught 4 Thailand people stealing or
grabbing a paper towel or napkin off
the restaurant table. They are becoming
The funny part, is they do not always use
napkins here in Thailand. They have toilet
paper dispensers on the Restaurant
tables. They are disguised, but they
are toilet paper dispensers, pretending
to be napkin dispensers.
Do not worry. I have a link with
lots of photos to explain.
What started this was a nice German
Couple. I will blame it on them.
They put me on the moral high ground
to write this letter.
They asked the manager of the guesthouse,
“Do you have a towel for us?”
She went and got them a towel.
I have lived here for 14 days, and they
have never once offered me a towel or even
indicated there were towels included.
I have given up a long time ago
on hotels supplying towels, toilet paper,
and other small items. I am happy
when they have a sheet.
In Europe they made me rent sheets.
At least in Thailand they include that
one sheet. They always will short sheet
OK.... This Guesthouse is very nice.
I mean it. Seriously, it is very good.
It is owned by a Swiss guy married
to a Thai Girl. He is in Switzerland.
Makes sense to me.
But the design is not totally Thai.
They do NOT have the bucket of
water and the sprayer in the toilet.
That is not totally true. They have
a sprayer to take a shower.
But it is a little to far from the
So... I think he is saying that
we do not need the bucket or sprayer.
or it is thought that the clientele in this
guesthouse will be foreigners, and
they will have toilet paper.
At least the design and layout
of the toilet DEMANDS you use toilet
I am easy going.
I am not going to expect much for
2 1/2 dollars USA per night.
The room is excellent.
My mother would think it very clean
and very nice. We have to share the toilet.
But I will get over that. It even has
solar hot water that works on sunny days.
So there is this randomness to toilet
paper availability. Some days they have it, and
other days they do not.
I am never sure where it comes from?
Maybe a really silly tourist left it.
But when one day I seen 2 rolls. I thought,
no the management is supplying the toilet
I have been having a chuckle.
The manager is just tall enough to look
me in the belly button or navel.
The whole staff uses this toilet
for the main building. It is small
family ran Guesthouse, and I am
like part of the family.
So the chuckle or joke is this.
When someone takes a shower
in the toilet it sprays the toilet paper.
am get it all wet.
Which is not good at all, and really
makes life more complicated.
So I take the dry roll of toilet paper
and place on the top of the
curtain so it will be dry.....
I am sure that 1/2 the staff is
too short to reach it.
So I am sort of making their life
difficult. They are Asian or
from Thailand. This is a western
custom and they should not need it
So I am sort of in a pre-meditated
passive aggressive manner getting them.
You do not like my custom of toilet paper,
so I will place it up high, so you will not be offended
by my customs and you cannot reach it....
Some days are funnier than others.
So the moral high ground.
Whatever that is?
My dilemma is this.
They seem or appear to be supplying
toilet paper as part of the services
include in the price of my room.
One day they have it, and the next day
they don’t, and on some days it is
soaked by people showering.
I can never depend on this service.
I can nab, steal, grab, take, or pilfer
a roll when available, and I have one
in my room. They have supplied
the service. I am happy.
But is this included or not included
with the room?
I SPEAK ENOUGH THAI TO ASK
I have learned enough Thai and with
some pushing they will probably
I will ask,
Is it include?
They will nod their head.
This in Asia as best I can tell.
They nodded their head.
It does not mean yes.
They nod there head yes.
They nod there head no.
I have been practicing this head nodding
thing. But it is a shake of the head
and make me dizzy.
But is cute, so I will continue to practice.
So I can push them to speak.
The will either answer.
Still does not answer
the question. But I do now know
for sure that all is good
or not good for sure.
I am wanting some clarity.
I want a yes or no.
Yes it is supplied.
If they answered
“My” that would mean no.
If they answered
“Chy” that would mean yes.
I have yet to hear them every answer
a question straight like that.
I cannot be bothered with all this language
trauma. I will steal a roll of toilet papers.
I think I am justified in this action.
So maybe it is not stealing.
But I am sure the other foreigners will
not appreciate the lack of toilet paper.
I am sure most of these travelers.
a.k.a. TOURIST will demand the toilet paper.
While me.... I am American.
I am passive and never complain.
Stealing toilet paper is obvious.
I see a roll one day.
And the next there is none.
When a roll of toilet paper is empty
it has and empty look.
There is the empty cardboard core
remaining to prove it is empty.
I learned a small trick and have been wanting
a good excuse to tell you readers.
But this is such small tip, and really
not important, but the tip really does help.
I learned it sitting at the bus stop.
A fat chic was sitting next to me.
She was beating up this roll of toilet paper.
Banging it on the concrete.
“What are you doing?”
She then completed her task.
She pulls the cardboard core out of the
middle of the roll. She is than able to
tuck the smaller more easily manageable
roll into her backpack.
So this fat girl.. a.k.a. chic.
Sitting in bus station.
Beating the hell out of a roll of toilet
paper taught me a good trick.
Does a writer of tips write a whole
letter devoted to how to remove
a cardboard core out of a roll of toilet paper.?
...Maybe when I am reincarnated.
But this could be explained in one photo.
It is a great way though to carry and
store toilet paper in you backpack.
So I do advise you to remove the cardboard
cores out of the rolls.
BACK TO THE ART OF
STEALING TOILET PAPER
What does that tip have to do with
stealing toilet paper....?
The way you know the roll was stolen
is there is no cardboard core in the
toilet. They have taken the whole roll.
The clue to let you know the toilet paper
has been stolen is there is not cardboard
core left to be found.
I have seen people pull the ALL the paper
off a roll to put in their backpack.
I am too lazy to do that.
I will buy the stuff or things.
( People do not like it when Americans use those
words.... Stuff.. Things.)
But I can remove the cardboard core
in 10 seconds. Put it back.
So it looks like the roll is empty
and I did not steal it.
So to steal a roll of Toilet paper
and not make it obvious.
You remove the cardboard core.
You leave cardboard core in the toilet.
You take just the paper.
ON THE MOUNTAIN OF MORALS
I still get weak on this moral thing.
“Thou shall not steal.”
I will get a little higher on the mountain
of morals, and slice and dice this
issue of ethics a little further.
I was nice.
I waited until they put 2 rolls in the
toilet, and stole only 1.
That way the rest of the world is
still in order.
There is a natural order to the universe.
or maybe I am talking about the
I am glad some days I do not
get paid to do this. An editor would
remove my freedom and the fun.
Toilet paper photos.
The JS Guesthouse is great.
Very easy to recommend.
Just another day in Paradise!
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
X Hobotraveler.com was HERE!
Life is good.
As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
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