All you ever wanted to know about using squat toilets

I’ve lived in Asia for over a decade, so I’m used to squat toilets (as opposed to western-style toilets that you sit on). I prefer squat toilets everywhere except for my own bathroom, actually. I know that doctors and health professionals say that you don’t “get germs” from other people via toilet seat transfer, but what can I say? They probably live sheltered lives and have never SEEN the disgusting state of nasty public toilet seats – you know, the ones yellowed from age, with huge welts from cigarette burns, cracked in three separate pieces and with stinky bits of shit and god-knows-what stuck to it. You know, the kind that make you feel invaded by germs just by looking at them… Anyway, this post is not about squat vs. western style toilets, because in general, you use what’s available at the time (an exception to this would be the few public restrooms that provide BOTH types of toilets, but that’s beyond the scope of this post).
One thing I have been wondering about ever since I first came to Thailand is, what are the exact mechanics for wiping your ass when there’s no paper, but an open tank of water and a plastic scoop? I mean, I kind of get the drift that Mr. Finger(s) will be touching Mr. Browneye at some point in the procedure, but how the hell is that sanitary if everyone is using the same source of water? Let me state that a bit more concisely: Are my shit crumbs mixing with your shit crumbs? My enquiring mind wanted to know!
Also, what about the spray hose found in some Thai toilets?
And why do I see Thai people coming out of the restroom with large wet spots on their bums? Does this not bother them? (It bothers the hell out of me…)
Well, last night I stumbled upon a thread on the Thaivisa forums that shed some light on this situation: Thai Toilet Etiquette
Go check it out. It may give you an idea of how to wipe your ass if there’s no toilet paper in the stall and you’ve forgotten to take along some tissues (although I can’t believe there are actually people taking off their pants and hanging them around their necks in public restrooms!).

One thought on “All you ever wanted to know about using squat toilets”

  1. This post is hysterically funny to me since many people here in the West get upset about not having toilet seat covers available in all restrooms. There’s the worry that by sitting on a clean-looking seat sans seat cover, you might get an STD like genital warts, herpes or even HIV. But having had to use squat toilets in Thailand, I appreciate the lesson on the plastic bucket of flush water, those mysterious wet stains on people’s bums, and am soooo happy to have nice, sanitary toilets here at home!

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