Interesting facts about bathrooms worldwide.
While all people have to use the bathroom, restrooms can look very different depending on where you live. Relative to your country and culture, the public restroom situation can vary greatly. But, what might seem weird to you is entirely normal to someone else. Even inside of homes, different people from different places have bathrooms that look unique to how they were raised and the standards of their area.
While you might not think that much about the toilet situation worldwide, it’s rather fascinating to learn more about. Learn some interesting facts about toilets and bathrooms throughout the world below.
Not Everywhere Has Public Restroom Access
While many places in the United States have public bathrooms that people can use, this isn’t the case worldwide or even everywhere in the country. Bigger cities like New York City don’t have as many places where people can use the restroom, and it’s often a matter of hunting down a bathroom inside a store or mall. However, you should expect to have to make a purchase to use many of these.
Then, there are places like Europe where there are public toilets, but you’ll need to pay a fee to use them. Usually, these fees are relatively small, and while this might seem frustrating if you’re not used to it, paying does help maintain the bathrooms and keep them cleaner.
Many of us have used very dirty public restrooms, so it’s easy to see the pros of ensuring they are kept to a higher standard. Some of these pay toilets even have attendants on-site.
Porcelain Thrones Aren’t The Norm Everywhere
Squat toilets are common in many countries, such as Singapore, Russia, and Thailand, especially in less touristy areas. These are just what they sound like, as you have to squat over them to go. They are usually made from metal or porcelain materials, and some have a flush function, while others involve pouring water down the hole.
While this might not seem comfortable if you’re used to sitting on a toilet, there could be some benefits to going this way. There is some evidence that squatting actually makes it easier to go number two, so there is nothing wrong with this kind of bathroom.
Bidets Are More Common In Other Parts Of The World
Bidets have been gaining popularity in the United States over the past couple of years. With toilet paper shortages and more people working from home, many people wanted to increase the comfort level of their bathroom, and a bidet was the perfect fix.
A bidet or hands-free smart toilet is a great way to stay clean and add a little luxury to the bathroom, but many parts of the world have been using bidets for a long time.
Countries like Portugal, Japan, Venezuela, and Italy often have bidets. While in the past, bidets were usually separate pieces of equipment where one would sit or squat over the water, many bidets today can be added to an already existing toilet. There are also toilets that already include bidet functionality built into their features.
So, while more people in the U.S. might now know the pros of having a bidet, other countries might consider us somewhat behind the times.
Japan Is Known For Smart Toilets
While many places have bidets as more of the standard, Japan stands out specifically for having a lot of high-tech bathrooms. Many places have toilets that incorporate bidets, but they can also do more than that.
Some of these appliances even have noises to hide any uncomfortable sounds a person might make while going to the bathroom. They could even have lights or unexpected features.
When using a bathroom in Japan, it’s also essential to brush up on your etiquette as some places, including some homes, have slippers designated only for use in the bathroom.
You Might Need To Bring Your Own Toilet Paper In Some Places
While some countries might find wiping with toilet paper unsanitary, it’s the norm for people in the United States. So, if you’re traveling somewhere that doesn’t provide toilet paper or bidets, you may want to bring your own. While many places in China also have rather high-tech bathrooms, more rural locations have less fancy places.
Just like in America, you will probably need to take your toilet paper with you if you’re going anywhere in the wilderness or in super remote areas. There are bathrooms around the world where you can’t flush toilet paper at all and will need to put it in the trash instead. This is especially common in some parts of Eastern Europe.
Know Before You Go
When it comes to bathroom etiquette and expectations, it’s best to do a little research before you travel somewhere new. The types of bathrooms you’ll encounter can vary greatly, even from country to country.
For example, in a suburb of America, you’ll probably be able to find a bathroom in most retail stores you can use for free, but in some bigger cities, you might need to plan your stops or buy something first.
If you’re traveling internationally, it’s especially important to research ahead of time. You don’t want to be caught off guard or be rude because you don’t know their customs.
Keep in mind that while there might be different standards or methods of going to the bathroom, it’s not advisable to judge other places or cast them in a poor light based on this. What is normal for you might not be typical or make sense to someone else.
It can also be fascinating to do a bit of research into the history of bathrooms and plumbing in various countries. The history of how people use the bathroom can connect to many other elements of society and culture.
About the Author: Other Voices
Other Voices has written 824 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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