Monday, July 18, 2011

Travelling Tips - How to Use a Squatting Toilet

Squat toilets are found throughout the world and are even advocated by some as an inexpensive, healthier option when compared to Western toilets. Squat toilets provide an intimidating challenge for many Westerners, of course, but in locales with little modern plumbing, they may be the only option.


  • Familiarize yourself with the toilet in question. Squat toilets are different the world over, from Japan to Indonesia to Turkey. 

  • Bring your own toilet paper. In some places where squat toilets are common, free toilet paper isn't. It might not be necessary, as you'll see in later steps. But, if this is one luxury you're unwilling to do without, bring a bag with you too. There might not be a trash can for used toilet paper, and squat toilets aren't designed for anything but bodily excretions. You'll want to put the used toilet paper in a bag until you can find a trash can.
Even if you don't bring toilet paper, bring something to dry off with.
  • Pour a little bit of water in the toilet. If there's no flushing mechanism, moistening the surface of the toilet will make it easier to clean off when you're done. There should be a bucket nearby full of water. If there isn't, get one from another stall. If it's empty, fill it up.
  • Pull your pants down around your ankles or lift up your skirt, making sure not to let them drop too far such that they make contact with the toilet. Hold your pants forward and away from the drop zone, roll up your pant legs, or tuck them into your socks. If you're wearing a skirt, tuck the end into your waist band to free your hands. Alternatively, remove your pants entirely and hang them nearby.

  • Squat down with your heels flat on the ground over the bowl, placing your feet on the textured grids on either side of the toilet's hole, otherwise, plant your feet on either side of the toilet and squat all the way down. Keep your feet flat; on your toes, you may very well fall over. Stick your buttocks far behind you, over the hole. Steady yourself. 
The direction in which you face will depend on the kind of squat toilet you're using. Frankly, it doesn't really matter, as long as everything lands in the hole.

In Japan and some other parts of Asia, the toilet will have a hood on one end. You'll want to face the hood and get as close to it as possible if you're defecating, so you get everything in the toilet

If you're wearing pants, be careful not to let things fall out of your pocket as you squat. They might land in the toilet.

  • Perform the deed, aiming for the toilet's hole. For urination, direct your urine back, between your legs. Shuffle backwards or forwards to perfect your aim.
  • Rinse or wipe. If water and a bucket is provided, wash your area. Wipe yourself with available toilet paper, using your free hand. Many squat toilets have plumbing that can't handle toilet paper. If this is so, drop the paper in the appropriate trash bin.

  • Flush. If there's a flushing mechanism, this part will be quite obvious: push the button, pull the string, whatever. If water and bucket are provided, pour the water down the hole to flush. Otherwise, pour water into the toilet until any remnants of your business are gone.  



    1 comment: