After a nice time in the living room you may be thinking about visiting the restroom because…well, let’s just say you want to. Toilets, restrooms, outhouses, toilet paper, outdoor plumbing and all the related paraphernalia is the next chapter of my “Behind the Iron Curtain” series.
Toilet paper was hard to find. If it was available you had to stand in line like the one on this picture and then it was probably limited to a certain number of rolls per person. A proud new owner of the precious TP would head home with a bunch of rolls hanging around their neck causing jealous reactions from the not so lucky bystanders. Of course that was not soft, quilted or baby skin toilet paper that American buttocks are so used to. It was more like your printer paper in a roll, maybe a little thinner but still required substantial calluses in certain places. And calluses we had: since the paper was not readily available everything served the purpose. It could be magazines, newspaper, stolen forms from work. I distinctly remember reading an obit for some communist party honcho in the paper before using it for its intended purpose, and the guy died in 1983. In more civilized houses the newspaper was pre-cut into squares, in others you had to rip it yourself. Outdoors people used leaves and whatever else was easy to reach, I myself once split an empty cigarette box with my buddy when nothing else was available.
Now with toilet paper in hand you are about to discover the facilities. To be continued.