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HOW TO use a Chinese toilet
Travel in China and the toilets you may meet
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit China every year. Visiting the Great Wall, Shanghai, the Terracotta warriors, and almost all of them will pass through Guilin, one of the most beautiful parts of China. Most of these tourists express amazement at the sights they have seen, the excellent hotels, transport and the care they receive, and then they complain about a toilet experience.
To let such a minor issue spoil such a fantastic holiday is clearly not a good idea. First it is useful to be able to actually use the thing with some confidence, and below I hope to provide the procedure and some tips. Secondly is to realise that different cultures have a different emphasis or outlook on things. We see things in China that appear 'dirty' to us, and the Chinese see things in our behaviour that they consider 'dirty' - just understanding this point can change the way we view others that leads to cultures 'looking down' on each others customs and habits.
The Chinese toilet has no seat – so using one requires a different approach
Chinese have slightly different ideas to western about what is clean and dirty, Chinese will often have a western style toilet in their own home, but would not dream of sitting on a public toilet seat! The same applies to hotel toilets, my Chinese partner boils a kettle and douses everything we might touch in the washroom with boiling water, including the toilet seat, and then sprays everything with sterilising liquid. In a hotel bed she insists that we keep on underclothes and top, if it is hot or there is any other reason to expose skin in bed - we take our own sheets with us!
Learn about all this and get some Chinese language in the most beautiful part of China on this amazing value summer course.
HOW TO use a Chinese toilet
The TOILET and how to do IT - brief instructions.
1. Stand over the toilet facing away from the hole
2. Place one foot each side and about halfway along the trough
3. Remove lower clothing to below the knees
4. Grasp the clothing in the left hand and pull forward between the knees
5. Squat as low as possible in a comfortable position
6. On completion discard the waste paper into the bin provided
7. Stand up, still holding clothing firmly
8. Dress keeping clothing off the floor
9. Flush as normal and also use adjacent tap if necessary
Do not be afraid of the idea of a different toilet, after a few uses the technique becomes familiar and easy. For anyone who has a toilet seat phobia - this is heaven! for everyone else, the squat and stand excercise is really good for your leg strength and especially for suppleness, skiers will have no trouble at all in the position or the getting up and down required.