Toilets of Asia

By Rikki and Eva (but mostly Rikki)

I know you have been waiting for a toilet blog for a loooooong time.  Now that we are in Asia it’s going to be a good one.

Before we got to China, toilets were either clean or dirty but now we know there are more ways to describe them!  They can be either a squat or sit toilet.  A squat toilet is a ceramic pot in the ground with foot grids on both sides.  Sometimes there’s a flush and sometimes you throw a bucket of water in to wash everything down.

Welcome to Asia

We have really worked on our thigh muscles squatting in China and Thailand.  Someone in our family, that shall remain nameless (but her name rhymes with peeva), takes off her pants entirely when she squats so she can keep dry.  But she improved, by the end of our time in China, she was only taking off one pant leg!

In the hutongs (these are old neighborhoods in Beijing) the people do not have toilets in the house so they have a hutong neighborhood toilet.

When you go to a 7-11 (they have those in China and Thailand!), you buy little Kleenex packages so you are prepared for the bathrooms.  But, you don’t throw toilet paper or Kleenex into the toilet you put it into the garbage can next to the toilet (Yuck) because the plumbing just can’t handle it.

In Thailand, they have little water hoses next to every toilet and you use it like a bidet.

After seeing the bathrooms (and streets) in China and Thailand, we understand why people take off their shoes before going into their houses.

When we went into the bathrooms in China and Thailand, we were not fully pleased.  There was no soap.  When I came into the bathroom to do my hair, I saw at least 20 people that did not wash their hands with soap!

There have been some very interesting toilets in China and Thailand and I learned some very important things:

1)   Don’t get pee on yourself when you squat

2)   Hold your nose while you’re going because the toilets often smell like fish balls (a favorite Chinese street food)

3)   Bring hand sanitizer and Kleenex packages everywhere you go

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Asian toilet diaries.

Categories: China, Toilets | 7 Comments

Flushed Away

A joint post by Rikki and Eva

Rikki first

This week we are on a houseboat in Southwestern France.  The houseboat is bigger than our boat at home but smaller than a normal hotel room.  The boat can sleep seven people.  We only needed to sleep five of course.  You might be thinking, “Well this will be an interesting Toilet Blog.”  Well, it will be, very interesting.


The first thing I want to tell you about the toilet is the paper.  Oy, the paper.  It is so frustrating because we can only use one square when we produce toxic waste.  We can’t use much toilet paper because we were told, it will clog the toilet and it will cost 100 Euro if the boat people have to come out to unclog our toilet.

One, only one!


Next, let me tell you about the seat.  It is always wet when you use it because it is VERY close to the shower, but Eva will write more about that later.  The last thing I need to tell you about is the flush.  When I want to flush the toilet, I have to push two separate buttons.  First, I have to push a button that fills the toilet pot with water, and next I push the button that actually flushes the toilet.  And just for a little information, all this gets emptied straight into the river.


Eva’s turn


The showers on the boat are also quite an interesting thing.  There are two showers.  One is just a shower room, but the other is a full bathroom with a toilet and a shower.  In the full bathroom, I can literally take a shower while sitting on the toilet.


How the shower works:

The shower head is also used as a sink faucet.  It is on a retractable hose.  You have to wrap a curtain around yourself.  Since the boat has limited water, I have to turn the water off when I put the shampoo in my hair.  The water sprays all over the place.  Taking a shower on the boat is a multitasking job.  I can clean the walls while I clean my body.  This is a real time saver.  For some of you busy people out there, you might want to consider buying one of these for your own homes.

Showering on the boat


Categories: France, Toilets | 9 Comments

No Rooms. No Toilets.

Posted by Amy

We are just past our two-month mark and although we purposely didn’t book most of our lodgings before we left home, we have made a point of reserving a room at least one night in advance.  Tonight was only the second time where we left in the morning and had no idea where we would be sleeping that night.  After having overstayed our welcome in Italy, mostly due to a long wait at the Indian embassy to obtain visas for later travel, we decided to hightail it back to France.   We booked a last minute barge trip up a river in Southwest France and had to drive 13 hours over the next two days with the five of us, a bike and way too many bags tightly squeezed into a Fiat Picasso.  We don’t have those cars back home, but go ahead and Google them.  They are very cute, little cars.  Little cars.


After driving 7 hours, in and out of tunnels, mostly high up on the cliff of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean, with night falling, we decided it was time to find a hotel.  We programmed the TomTom (our GPS) to look for a POI, or Point of Interest for those of you who don’t speak TomTom.  The TomTom directed us to a hotel just 1.2 km off the highway called, The Florida Dip.  We drove until we found the destination, surprisingly very much exactly where TomTom said it would be. We decided to send David in to check this establishment out.


There didn’t seem to be a door leading to the hotel so David entered through the Florida Dip Ristorante.  The room was filled with Italian working men, only men, eating their dinners.  They all looked up from their plates to give the American in quick dry pants and a baseball cap a good long stare before returning to their pasta and scallipini.  David found the lone woman in the restaurant.  She looked like she knew what was what, so he decided to see if she could help us.


He asks her, “Do you have any rooms?”

She points up a staircase and answers, “Upstairs, upstairs.”

David thinks about this and rephrases the question, “So, you do have rooms?”

She answers again, “Rooms yes, no toilets.”

Curious.  He tries again, “You have rooms but no toilets?”

She responds, “Tonight, no rooms and no toilets.”

Not being one to give up, David asks, “What about the hotel across the street?  The Argentina?  Do they have rooms?”

“Yes, they have rooms, but no toilets.”


She thinks for a second and then writes the name of something on a slip of paper, a hotel? A town?  We aren’t sure.  She hands David the paper and says, “3 km.  Toilets.”


Sure enough we followed her directions 3 km to a fine little hotel with toilets, showers, a restaurant and a laundromat across the street.  All the luxuries we could ever want.  We even were served a three-course Italian Touristic Dinner that none of us really wanted to eat for a “very special price only for your family.”


Did that hotel really have no toilets?  Did they have toilets just not in the rooms?  Maybe she took one look at David and decided this was a guy who needed his own  toilet in his own room.  Down the hall wouldn’t cut it.  And why do no woman eat at this restaurant?  And most of all…..where were all of those men staying in those rooms going to go to the bathroom tonight?

Categories: Italy, Toilets | 2 Comments

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilette…


Funny stories from Italia By Eva Goldman


A few days ago we were at a rest-stop eating lunch and a guy sneezed on my neck!  At first I didn’t hear him sneeze, but then I felt some wetness on my neck.  It was one of the most discussing things that ever happened to me.  I had to put hand sanitizer on my neck!  I knew that if he was going to say I’m sorry or whatever it would be in Italian, but he didn’t even say anything!


Onto the next story.  This story is about a language confusion.  Today we went to an international book store.  While Maya was taking forever looking at book,s I asked the lady working there if they had a toilette.


Here is how the conversation went.


Me: do you have a TOILETTE?


Her: Yes, let me check. (types something into the computer), Follow me.


Her: Do you want the movie or the book?


Me: No, I meant the place where you “go”


Her: Okay, okay(and starts looking through books).


Me: Mom, I didn’t want the book I have to go pee!




Her: Si, Si I am looking for it here on this shelf.


My Mom: BANJO?(bathroom in Spanish)


Her: Oh yes yes yes…


She gives us a key and we were still confused, where is it?  She points her finger up.  We finally find some stairs. Few!



Categories: Italy, Toilets | 3 Comments

Toilet Blog Update

Posted by Eva

Hello everybody!

Unfortunately Rikki is unable to make it today.  I will be filling in for her. Today’s Segment: Toilets in Germany.  In Ludwigsburg, a town in Germany, there is a castle.  The Kings and queens that lived there had twelve rooms each of their own.  But, a toilet wasn’t one of them.

Instead, they had a toilet chair.  Imagine a throne with a hole cut out and a bucket underneath.   When the king had to go, he would ring a bell and have his servants bring the chair to him.   Also, when the king or queen wanted to take a bath (only once a month!) servants would bring a bathtub to them. Kings and Queens were called “filthy rich” because they were so filthy!  They would just cover themselves with perfume.  Poor people couldn’t afford perfume and had to take baths more often.  That’s it on TOILETS AROUND THE WORLD!  Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Maya, Eva, Rikki and Elena Mueller in front of the castle with no bathrooms.

Categories: Germany, Toilets | 2 Comments

Toilet Update

Guess what, you mostly have to pay to go to the bathroom here! Terrible! England is truly cruel.  That’s how exspensive it is to live in England. The bathrooms aren’t even good. Once my dad had to pee for 50 pence, and he only had 40! The police are looking for him.

Pay potty in London



This is Rikki Goldman, reporting the toilets. Have a good number 2!

Categories: England, Toilets | 1 Comment

Toilets II

The "hetzi" half flush toilet in Israel

Post by Rikki

So first of all, all of the toilets in Israel have 2 flushes, 1 for pee and 1 for poop.   I think it’s because they have a water shortage. The pee uses less water and the poop uses more water.  The public bathrooms are cleaner than some in America.  The toilet paper is less soft than in America. Ouch!!!!!!!!!

This is Rikki Goldman, may everything flush smoothly.

Categories: Toilets | Tags: | 7 Comments

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