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Chinese Public Toilets.

One of the things that you're going to have to get used to when you're in China is their "interesting" public toilet system.

Public toilets in China have 3 main "flavours" (though don't confuse that with smells, like all public toilets, they only have one smell here). The first is the one that people in the west would recognise. Urinals and plumbed toilets in the men's, plumbed toilets in the women's. Along with those there are 2 what I affectionately call "squat and drop" toilets.

The first "squat and drop" is nothing more than a 12in wide PVC tube that has been cut in half and buried in the ground. You squat over it and do the do before washing your hands and leaving. The second type is weirder (but more common in restaurants and bars). Imagine the bowl part of your typical plumbed toilet. Instead of plumbing it in properly (on what I can only imagine is a stand -the thought had never crossed my mind before), they've effectively dug a whole for it and buried it deep enough so that the "working end" is the only bit the "punter" can see. The flush is there, but usually on a metal pole behind the toilet.

Whichever type you use, you need to "squat and drop" to do the gubbins you need to do to relieve yourself. Quite what women, those with arthritic knees and those who just want to keep their clothes clean do, I don't know. I took one look inside one and simply refused to use it. This wasn't helped by the fact that some Chinese toilets don't know the meaning of privacy. I'm not the coy type, but I refuse to use a toilet where the door is like the "swing door" on the bar of a "Cowboy and Indian" film (that is assuming they have a door at all).

I swear blind that the first public toilet I walked into, I saw a guy's lower legs, fore-arms and head underneath the toilet door as he relieved himself at his earliest convenience. Needless to say, I didn't stay long.

On the subject of Chinese toilets, it seems that some houses and flat don't like you to flush the paper after use. They like you to put the paper in a waste bin to one side. You have no idea how much this creeps me out. I mean who cleans it up? Do you cone out with the bag or do you leave it in there? Do you want someone else to clean up your mess or do you take it somewhere yourself? And do you really want to be going somewhere where they dump used toilet paper anyway?

It's here that I become a teenage valley girl. I mean ewww how revolting. It's that that reminds me I'm in a third world country here guys I'm afraid. Everything else here sort of reminds me of Spain in the 1980s, but that, ewww.

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