Last Updated on August 17, 2017 by Christine Kaaloa
If you’re a Westerner, sometimes the last thing you want to have to use is an Asian squat toilet…Unless the squat toilet is actually cleaner.
Asia has had it’s moments of enlightening me as to why squat toilets should be preferred. Squatting is said to be more hygenic, because your bum isn’t picking up bacteria from the shared seats …or uh, other leftover bits.
A Leh cafe toilet with Western and Asian choices
I was eating at a cafe restaurant in Leh (Ladakh, India), when I had to go to the john. The waiter directed me outside to a place behind the restaurant. There were two doors, neatly numbered 1 and 2. Choices.
It reminded me of the popular 80’s game show, the Price is Right, where the contestant got to choose between three doors, which contained mystery prizes like a car, money,… a toaster oven. Unlike the game show, I wasn’t thrilled to open the doors. Mystery doors in India predicted only worse and worser; and after my last toilet experience, the latter condition was definitely possible.
As bad as western toilets can get
I swung open door #2. A western toilet! ‘Yikes!’ The toilet was filthy as hell and its seat was cracked, muddy and broken. It was obvious that to use it, you would need to stand on the seat and squat. Flies were coming out of the bathroom. It was baaad. I thought about breathing through my mouth, but then I’d probably taste it. Best not go in.
That left door #1…. I held my nose, rolled my eyes up, braced myself and swung the door open with dread…
The cleaner sister: Asian squat toilet
Scrub brush, porcelain squatter, bucket of flush water… Not bad.
It was the best Indian public squat toilet I’ve seen on my entire trip! India can test you. Thank God in this case, for choices.