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When I left home to the US for college, this is the only thing I was sure glad to say goodbye to.
Where were you originally?
Vietnam. And my attachment to proper sit-down toilet is only due to my belonging to the privileged upper-class. Most lower class families all over the country still use squat toilet in their household--- I mean the ones actually that have one. You're right that squat toilets are more water conserving, and the squatting position is better for your health.
Having recently made the switch myself (US->China), I must say it's dying pretty hard for me, too.
They have Western toilets here and there in China, don't they?
I am not sure about the hygiene part. Squat toilets are terrible if you wear a long skirt, and they usually tend to be wet and muddy all over. Of course even worse is that people squat on regular toilet seats.
I will admit, I have not often used a squat toilet in a skirt. But now I will be sure to avoid it.
I have encountered a squat toilet once though I never used it (luckily there was a stall that had a sit down toilet next to the squat toilet). This was somewhere in the Czech Republic if I can recall.
I doubt it, here, we are as shocked as anyone else when we meet squat toilet :D. My biggest shock weren't by the way squating toilets but when I was in Belgium (read "So western country") and it was normal, that you have kinda mixed toilets where the men's urinals are next to the doors with sitting toilet. Basically I had to pass the peeing man when I wanted to go my business or wash my hands next to him as the basin was also in this "open space"... O_o. (It was in few restaurants like this)
Squatting is great for the abdominals. The problem is that squats are often dirty and smelly. Water supply may be unreliable and a cracked toilet that is still usable is not replaced as would be an avoidable expense and the climate often encourages flies. All these are off putting. But the squat position is good daily exercise for all ages and makes it easier for the bowels. Use of them in Western countries would likely lead to improved general health. I don't know how people with mobility problems manage tho.
omg, squat toilets... had to use them for half a year in China... sometimes they're not even cleaner than western toilets...
Worst squat toilet experience: aiding a lady who was still groggy from anaesthetic to use a Chadian hospital's squat toilet. Bush people didn't know to use the hole and there were piles of waste all around the cubicle. After that we asked for permission to use the nurses' toilet. A stumbling lady, her husband, me, and piles of poo didn't fit really well into one cubicle.
Sounds like that would be awful with ANY kind of toilet...
Haha.. I had the this problem but the opposite when I first moved to Germany from Iran (so from squat to regular western ones). It was the thing that took me the longest to get used to!
Hah! Never thought it would happen the other way around, too.
I saw a sign (in English and Japanese) in Japan telling people to use the Western toilets if the squat toilets were all taken. I wouldn't have thought that would be necessary!
Come on, squat toilet is the best. I just hate the feeling of indirectly touching othe people butts when I use sit toilet, gross! I don't get why many people here are converting to sit toilet. They don't know what they lost hehehe.