Are you aware of squat toilets? They’re almost unheard of in North America, but fairly common throughout Asia and the Middle East. Basically, it’s a hole in the ground that you squat over to do your business. It may have textured spots on either side for your feet to help you keep a grip. You just assume the position and go. But is it as easy as all that? Let’s check out this handy video.
If you’re heading to a bathroom in a mall, you know the ritual you have to perform when you get there. You look in the first stall and, depending on just how ghetto your mall is, you may need to check the next one or two stalls to compare filth. You don’t want the stall with the toilet that hasn’t been flushed this month, or with a deuce resting on the seat. You need to find the cleanest one, then you need to clean the seat and cover it no matter how clear it already looks. And after all of that you may still want to hover, just in case.
You never let your shoelaces drag on the ground in a public bathroom. You try not to touch the walls and door latches as often as possible. And if the water in the bowl splashes back at you, you may as well go right home because your whole day is immediately ruined. Now imagine how removing the toilet compounds all the dangers you face in a bathroom.
A squat toilet forces you to worry about the aim of the previous occupant. You have to pull your pants down, but not that far or else they’ll touch the floor. You have to balance. Imagine the terror of being slightly off kilter in mid poop and just losing everything, tangled in your own pant legs as you fall to the floor of a squat stall. You also have to bring your own toilet paper because apparently it’s not provided. But it’s worth noting that you can’t flush that paper either. And if you forget it, a lot of bathrooms provide a bucket. So you can just wash your ass with your hand.
Basically, a squat toilet is a potentially terrifying experience that may result in you having piss covered pants and a poop hand. On the other hand (the one not covered in poop), your Western toilet may be a graffiti-ridden nightmare of human tragedy as well. But it’s at least worth knowing how to use both should you ever find yourself stuck.