Monday, September 13, 2010

Standing Up For Sitting Down

In the past 11 months I’ve had to use squat toilets on numerous occasions.

I’ve used fancy stainless steel ones situated in spacious, beautifully-tiled rooms with excellent plumbing.

I’ve used basic holes in the ground that have two bricks to stand on and a bucket of water to “flush” with.

I’ve even used ones in rooms that were so “open concept” I was able to make eye contact with my neighbours, albeit awkwardly.

And in this time, I’ve become quite skilled in the “art of the squat”. Therefore I can say with absolute certainty that Western toilets are way better.

That’s right. You read correctly.


Yes, I know I’m supposed to travel the world to get a greater appreciation of other countries and cultures and I know I shouldn’t judge. But when it comes to me and my “happy time”, I stand by my statement one hundred percent.

For starters, a squat toilet takes time to master.

Not only do you need to find a comfortable position but you also need to learn how to aim. Let’s face it, gravity will do most of the work, put you’ve still got to point it in the right direction... ie. not on your shoes.

And since most people are only on vacation for a week or two, it’s a lot of pressure to become capable in such a short period. When time is of the essence, do you really want to be debating between resting on the balls of your feet or the flats of your feet?

But with a Western toilet all you need to do is sit down, which is something everyone knows how to do. In fact it’s something we do every day – at home, during meals, on the bus, etc. The only difference being on a toilet you have to sit with your pants around your ankles.

But the biggest reason why Western toilets are better than squats can be summed up in one word…


When I’m half-asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning or perhaps after having had a little too much to drink, the last thing I need to worry about is falling over when I’m “doing my business”.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s forwards, backwards or to the side, should this happen, no good can come out of it.

But with a western toilet, I can sit down, take a load off and focus on more important things…

Like dropping a load off.

I rest my case.

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