Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Hong Kong Surprise!

with 5 comments

Sure I’d read about them and heard about them, but I’d been in Hong Kong for four days without running into a squat toilet. Not in the hotel or any of the restaurants we ate in – not even in our excursion to the mainland. I figured they had passed into history or were only found in rural areas now.

Then there was the day trip to Kowloon. And that wonderful little out of the way market. And the way that nature called so very suddenly, so very urgently, insisting there was big business to attend to. Now!

I was directed down a few narrow alleys and behind a couple of tents. And there it was. Just like the one next to it. And the one on the other side. Uh oh.

Bloody hell! What the @#$%! was I supposed to do? Really! I just couldn’t figure it out – and I really really really had to go.

I pulled out my camera and took a photo.

Then I stripped from the waist down. After that – well – obviously I survived the trauma. I’ve since been back to Asia probably a dozen times – and while I still prefer the western sitter, these days I can manage a squat with the best of them.

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

03/03/2011 at 9:12 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I first encountered squat toilets in Spain, eons ago when my parents were driving across Europe. As a child, I petulantly refused to use one and be damned if I didn’t wait until we checked into a hotel with real toilets.

    I do remember in Morocco where the camels were mulling about just outside the shack that housed the public toilet. Need I say that I just couldn’t do that either?

    Now? Who knows? I’d probably take a picture just like you did.

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    poietes

    04/03/2011 at 10:26 am

  2. I think navigating through mulling camels would put me off just about anything! But this situation was non-negotiable. I HAD to use the facilities.

    I spent a month on a tour of China a few years ago (one and only standard tour – you couldn’t pay me enough to do another!)… I was amazed at how many women just plain refused to use the squats no matter what – even if it meant 6-8 hours between toilets. I figure – no one’s watching – who knows if I’m getting it wrong?!?

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  3. I saw one in Europe in the 1960s – the two foot pads were raised. I stupidly tried the pull chain before climbing on to the pedals! The aim in this photo looks a little likely than the raised foot models!

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    souldipper

    04/03/2011 at 6:28 pm

    • Ahem…that last sentence was supposed to say, “…looks a little more likely…”

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      souldipper

      04/03/2011 at 6:29 pm

  4. I didn’t realise they were prevalent outside of Asia. My sister said she encountered them in Turkey and Moscow. They really are far more sanity than sit-down toilets – but I find I prefer my toilet hardware to be totally familiar…

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