When our British visitor opened his suitcase and took out a toilet roll we first thought it was a rather awkward present for the hostess - a more practical alternative to a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine. But no. It turned out that he simply brought it for himself because he knew that Czech toilet paper was far too rough and he couldn't possibly let his delicate British bottom suffer so much at the time of its well deserved holiday.
I placed the blue roll in the toilet, secretly apologised to our by all means satisfactory product already residing there....and at that moment I remembered something truly infernal, something that as far as toilet paper goes would definitely finish our lovely visitor off: small neat quadrangular packs comprising little pages folded in half and joined in an interlocking pattern. The texture of this sort of toilet paper was more of body destructive nature - hard and glossy. I never really understood how anybody managed to extract its bottom cleaning function from it. It simply was shit - not FOR shit.
At the dark times of toilet paper queues (There was a rumour that the toilet paper factory broke down and people started hoarding - the usual mass hysteria) ... so at these times this parody of toilet paper also appeared in our toilet. Desperate, I tried crumpling it and then smoothing it out again but even that failed to produce an absorbent surface and I was forced to employ alternatives such as cabbage leaves. Newspaper then wasn't suitable - the print ran too much. A simple visit to the toilet became a nightmare.
Luckily this didn't last very long and the good old roll returned to our shops to the great relief of all. However, this experience made me think with admiration of our ancestors who were commonly using the torture instrument and must have had some secret know how which obviously hasn't survived until today.
Nevertheless, since then the Czech toilet paper market has progressed and offers much better quality products. They can't, of course, compete with high British standards. Yet, we are heading in the right direction and I strongly believe that becoming members of the EU will move us one step further towards extra thick velvety pleasure.