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Put Toilet Paper In The Toilet Sign

Culture is never better shown than in contrast. Especially when it comes to bathrooms…

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All through Asia, Latin America — almost everywhere — no public bathroom that is prone to receiving out of country guests would be complete without a sign telling users not to put toilet paper in the toilet.

Now, apparently, the plumbing-rich West needs signs telling out of country guests that it is, in fact, okay to flush their toilet paper.

With the rapid rise of international Chinese tourists — which has taken on movement proportions — I can imagine there may be a vitalized sense of confusion on this point.

Such a simple cultural practice can have dire results if practiced out of context. I can only imagine all of the mortified hotel housekeepers that travelers on both sides of the toilet paper divide have left behind.

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Filed under: Belgium, Culture and Society, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3622 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

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