Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19 – World Toilet Day

I spent today reminiscing about all the toilets I have seen in my day. The most memorable was probably the first time I used a public bathroom in Japan…it was a small hole in the ground behind a very flimsy door…and that is when I learned the squatting technique. (Now I have used this technique in the woods, but as an everyday way to go…this was new.)  Here is a picture of a typical bathroom in Japan...

I have used many bathrooms around the world…another one of my favorites was on the train in India. Now if you never have had the privilege to use one of these let me explain… I walked to the front of the train car and slid open the door to the reeked of urine, I tend to gag when there are foul smells so you can only imagine the amount of gagging that was taking place. As I looked around the small metal room there was nothing but pee and “other things” all over the floor and a hole in the bottom of the train.  There were two little places to put your feet while you tried to aim for the hole (see picture below...this is what it looked like minus the covering on the hole...mine went DIRECTLY onto the tracks).  I will admit when you are going to the bathroom the fresh air feels great on your bum though! Yes, the hole goes directly onto the tracks, with the wind coming up out of the hole it explained why there was nasty all over the floor. So there I was squatting over an open hole in the bottom of the train, the train was jerking and wobbling back and forth, I was trying to keep my feet on the "foot areas" and I didn’t dare touch anything, it might have been the most athletic moment of my life!

The nicest bathroom I have ever been in was also in Japan (the range of toilet quality in that country is baffling). It was in an internet café with my some friends when one of my friends, Whitney, came running out of the bathroom making all of the rest of us go in to look at the toilet. The door to the bathroom automatically slid open, like one of those doors you see in space movies, then we opened the smaller door to the toilet…it was AMAZING! There were like honestly 10-14 buttons on it to perform all sorts of different things…squirting water, heat, massage, it was awesome!

China was interesting as well because our tour guide had a star system for the bathrooms, “this one only 2 star if you can wait next place has 3 star bathroom” it was very helpful!

Here are the countries I have used the toilet in:
  • United States
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Cuba
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Lots of the Caribbean Islands
  • France
  • Netherlands
 …I feel like I am missing some, but that is all I can think of for now.

Here is an interesting place…the Flush Hotel in Korea! It costs a whopping $50,000 to stay there! It was built to bring awareness to the sanitary conditions around the world. The profit from your stay goes to helping 3rd world countries sanitary conditions.


1 comment:

  1. You are certainly over the top on this one. India-well, what can I say--cannot even say interesting because it is a true acrobatic act!
    The Dutch love to talk about these things, so it must be the Dutch heritage coming out!! Thanks for sharing!! FYI--Czech trains do it over the tracks too!