I feel it is time to finally address Chinese bathrooms.
Now, in America we have toilets that resemble chairs – thrones, as they’re called. Among other things. In China, there are some chair-like toilets. They are primarily for the handicapped. The rest of us get squat toilets.
This is a nice squat toilet, in the new Global Center Mall in Chengdu:
It is, in essence, a hole in the ground. It flushes and such. Some are sensor activated, some are foot pedals. And you use it by, in essence, squatting down as we must have done before we elevated our bums a couple of feet of the ground. At first I was very leery. It seemed foreign and a little primitive as a means of relieving oneself. In fact, talking about bathrooms in general goes against my tendency towards “proper” conversation topics.
Whatever – I’ve sworn and cited Tennyson in these posts. I can talk about bathrooms.
The reason I want to talk about it because after using squat toilets for several months, I have to say I can see why one might prefer them to our “Western” styled toilets. The biggest reason why, as far as I have surmised, is that with a squat toilet there is no unsanitary toilet seats. Or touching a toilet with your hands. A dirty Western toilet is absolutely terrible (it’s part of the reason why I bought a Go-girl – that’s another post). Like a dirty port-a-potty – you don’t want to sit on it.
Now, this is not to say that a dirty squat toilet is more hospitable. They smell worse I think. This one is from one of my mountain trips. And it’s not the worst – I just considered it a high point of tastelessness to take a picture of the worst ones:
But still, you’re not technically touching anything, which seems somehow more sanitary.
Just wanted to let you know that they’re not that scary. And if you come to China, more and more establishments have Western toilets. But don’t be alarmed if you walk into a stall, and there’s just a trough in the floor.
And bring your own toilet paper.