Sunday, July 22, 2007

Public Potties

IMG_3326, originally uploaded by yellojkt.

Public restrooms are very common in Beijing. In the local neighborhoods, called hutongs, there are often the only restrooms. Since they are often the newest and cleanest looking building in the area, it makes one wonder about what the neighborhood did before the toilet rooms were built.

The size, quality and cleanliness of the rooms varies from barely tolerable to pretty good. One I went into was a three-holer with no divider stalls and two were occupied. I left and waited until I was back at the hotel.

Squat toilets are the typical fixture. The trick to finding a western style throne is to look for the universal ADA/handicap sign. Inside the buildings, the sit-down stalls are also often labeled with a picture of an old man with a cane.

One disturbing aspect is that it is not customary to flush the toilet paper. Most stalls have a small wastebasket for disposal of the used tissue.

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