arhyalon (arhyalon) wrote,

China Post Three -- Bathrooms are especially different

I forgot to mention the bathrooms. They are even weirder than other things. Deciding to go to one is always a bit of a risk.

Occasionally, a nice restaurant will have a Western style toilet. That is true luxury. The bathroom in my room here has one, for which I am very grateful. 

Most of the time, though, one is not so lucky. The typical bathroom has a ceramic pit overwhich you squat with ridges to either side to show where to put your feet. (This is very important, or you are over the wrong part of the thing, which is liable to cause splashing of substances God never intended to participate in an activity such as splashing.) Using these without causing harm to surroundings and/or clothing takes practice. You know you are in a posh version if they provide toilet paper. In general, here in China, you are expected to provide your own (and it goes in the trash can.)

But it gets weirder still. The school did not have a foot pit, it just had a trench with water running in it. 

The bathroom at the orphanage we visited had a trench with no water (presumably they wash it occasionally.) Also the 'stalls' were about two feet high and one on one side...intended for little children. All three of us women could see each other very clearly. I am a good sport about such things, but I expected my modest daughter to balk. She dealt with it cheerfully.

So...bathrooms. REALLY different.

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