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Squatters Rights

I said before the trip that it would make us appreciate the simpler things in life. One of those things would definitely be the use of a proper porcelain throne.

Squatting is the norm for pretty much all of Asia. The people here have been doing it all their lives and have developed the necessary leg muscles for comfort. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of us. It’s not exactly possible to relax and read the Times.

Bathroom standards vary wildly, but the majority of rural or small town WCs would easily be worse than any grotty public loo you’ve encountered in the west. Many are just covered holes in the ground over a septic tank of sludge. Film buffs among you who remember Slumdog Millionaire will have the right visual theme in mind.

David uses a roadside squatter

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Furthermore, the majority of Chinese plumbing seems incapable of handling toilet paper in any quantity. Most bathrooms have signs directing the user to a basket in which to deposit used paper, a rather smelly alternative to flushing it away. I don’t know about you, but I personally won’t be worrying about Chinese world domination until they popularize loos that don’t clog up after the first piece of Andrex extra-soft.

Bucket in the corner for toilet paper

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Of course, there is always the option of answering nature’s call behind a bush. The freedom of the great outdoors is infinitely preferable to perching over a slit trench in a dank, malodorous petrol station bathroom, and in a country this size, there is no shortage of picturesque piddling locations. Remember, my son. The world is your toilet.

The best toilet in China

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