The toilet paper frenzy has reached fever pitch in Australia, as supermarkets install quotas on desperate customers stockpiling supplies in the wake of Coronavirus quarantine fears.
Experts say worries about control and hygiene is driving the frenzy, as stockpiling and hoarding make supermarket shelves and garages look like something out of a movie.
In the wake of this, many ethnic communities are smugly lauding their secret weapon - the lota.
Who would have thought this humble lota, also known by its powerful sub-species, the bidet, would actually prepare me to emerge victoriously equipped to deal with toilet paper shortage during a pandemic hysteria?
I still remember when my white flatmate kept putting my lota on the balcony because she thought it was a watering can for the plants.
I was too embarrassed to tell her that my usage was uh...more private, and would quietly put it back in the toilet.
This continued on for some time before I forced friends to loudly exclaim in front of her how much they liked my lota and how it washed really well. (I have since addressed improving my communication and confrontation avoidance issues).
There was also the time one telemarketing boss loudly exclaimed that the employees who left Mount Franklin water bottles (favoured by brown people as an emergency lota substitute) in the toilet needed to stop drinking beverages in the loo and get back to work.
I am a water plus paper girl, so I am not fully immune to the toilet paper crisis. But I do know those who do a full wash with water, and I for one commend them. These are the heroes who will survive the ashes of our toilet paper madness victorious, butt squeaky clean and ready to take over the world.
So what is this bidet/lota?
A lota looks like a teapot/watering can hybrid with a spout. Often gardening watering cans will be employed in a secret double life as lota. Bunnings, you had no idea those loitering in the gardening aisle had these ulterior motives, did you?
The more powerful genus of the lota - the bidet - is one step away from Japanese super toilet. It is a mechanical jet hose connected to a water supply that allows one to control the flow of the jet. Kind of like this...
These kinds of hoses are pretty common in ethnic households. It's so routine as to often leave us shocked, puzzled and dismayed at the bum habits of our western friends when we use their toilets.
I mean, do they not get stains?
There are many things Anglo communities excel at, but stockpiling and toilet cleaning? Ethnic communities got this. Today we win.