Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sh*t Happens

I've been under the weather the past few days, so I've had time to actually do some writing.  I got 50 hits on my site yesterday, which got me all excited so I thought I'd address the subject that has received the most attention on this blog:
It doesn't say much for the mentality of the internet, but I thought I'd go for broke here.

Our apartment is equipped with one of these units, and it is the only toilet in the house.  It is the only drain in the bathroom, too.  The shower drains into it as well as the sink, via a flex hose.  There is a faucet on the wall with a short hose coming from it.  There is a bucket with a plastic long handled plastic device that looks like a sauce pan for flushing.  If you feel that the business you have just performed requires a more tsunami like force to dispose of it, you can just dump the bucket directly into it.  A quick hosing down, and as the Brits say, "Bob's your uncle."
I've grown quite accustomed to this device and at home I prefer it.  When you are in the squatting position, your bowels move much faster, trust me on this.  If you can time your doo to just before a shower, you come out very fresh indeed.

Public toilets are less sanitary, but most I have dealt with have an attendant who charges you and are pretty clean.  There is an excellent article here explaining how to negotiate a Chinese public loo.

For old folks with bad knees, there are folding toilet seats that are on legs.  They just unfold them, position them over the loo, and bombs away.  These are also handy for the take a magazine into the loo crowd.  You know, people who shun fiber, and teenage boys
I have foreign friends who teach kids in their homes, and when they only have western toilets there can be issues.  Since these devices are foreign to many young children here they just opt to use the floor.  Sometimes they stand on the toilet.  There's a reason most Chinese bathrooms have floor drains.

Toilet training starts at a young age here.  Toddlers wear bottomless pants and when the parents senses some action about to take place, they take them to the nearest gutter, or tree and have them squat right there.  Watch your step!
Western toilets are gaining popularity here.  Hotels have them.  Many households have at least one.  Many of the ones I've used have been poorly maintained, or don't flush well.  Plumbing is an art here that is practiced in a very basic manner.  Anyone with a hacksaw and some glue can call himself a plumber, so the fancy mechanisms in the tank of a toilet are a mystery to most of these guys.
I doubt the western toilet will ever be completely accepted here.  There are just too many things going against it.  It's a pain to clean, impossible for most to maintain, and really difficult to squat on.

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