Bathroom issues are no joke.
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
One of the most disconcerting things for the average North American voyager when he first starts travelling internationally has got to be the squat toilet. Especially when you are experiencing illness of the digestive variety. I don't know about you, but as far as I know, I have never encountered squatters in Canada or the States (nor did I in Mexico, and I lived there for a year).
I had previously encountered squat toilets during my years in Europe and my trips to North, and later, East, Africa. On a trip to Morocco way back in 2004, suffering from acute gastro-intestinal difficulties, I shook my fist at the dearth of "proper" toilets (and simultaneously doubled over in pain).
But nothing could have prepared me for the high-frequency of squat toilets in Asia.
Public toilets are, in the overwhelming amount of cases, squat toilets. Most monuments and historic sites in Asia swear by these squatters, and the washroom facilities to be found on their grounds are rife with them, presumably because they cost less, are easier to clean, and use less water than a regular toilet.
Besides, squatting for most people out here is a way of life. And who can blame them?
Gone are the worries of having enough toilet paper to spread across the toilet seat in those times of dire need. It is more sanitary to squat, no? And also good for the derriere and quadriceps. And so, in my Asia travels, I became even more familiar with with the squatters that I had first been acquainted with way back in 2003 in France.
Despite that, however, I was totally aghast when I came across this in Beijing most recently...
An Open Squatter Toilet
Share your "squatter experiences" as a comment.
Written and contributed by Oneika Traveller