Two Pees in a Pod: Part II

Disclaimer: If you do not like potty talk, you should avert your eyes.

On my travels I have used the toilet in a lot of strange places. Each place has it’s own toilet system, flush system and wiping system. I am here to let you know, because I am sure you have been wondering: How do these systems work?

Let’s start with a basic one, the western toilet with a flush. If you are lucky, you may get one of these. However, in most countries, I would say pretty much all, you are not supposed to flush the toilet paper in the toilet. So, that is the most simple toilet system that is different from ours. However, you may not be able to find the flush, as sometimes it is a push down, sometimes it is a pull up, sometimes on top of the tank, sometimes on the side, sometimes a chain you have to pull down, and sometimes a pedal you push with your foot. These can be found throughout the world in nicer establishments.

Let the fun continue.


bucket and sprayer set up
- Mostly these are western but sometimes they are squat toilets. Generally there is no toilet paper given and if you wonder why, it’s because they don’t always use it. Next to the toilet you will usually find a sprayer, like the kind you have on your kitchen sink to wash it down with. You use that to spray whatever parts you may need to spray. To be honest, after a “number 1”, this is not a bad way to go if you don’t mind being a tad damp afterwards. I am not sure I am ready to use this system for anything more serious than a number 1 though.

- Many toilets in these countries do not have a typical flush system. Instead they have a bucket. One is big and full of water. The other is small and sometimes has a little handle. You use the little bucket to scoop water out of the big bucket and then you throw the pail-full of water into the toilet. This works fine for numero uno, but sometimes with it‘s big bad cousin you have to keep pouring bucket after bucket after bucket…


Generally in India, they have squat toilets. Sometimes they have flushes, but usually they have a bucket system like Thailand. What I learned in India was how to wipe using this system. Basically after doing your business, you use the small bucket. You fill it up and splash your nether regions with water, using your hand (the left one -- always!) to wipe yourself. Yup. Your hand. Then you use the bucket to “wash” your hand. And this folks is why Indians (and Arabs) only eat (and shake hands) with their right hand.

By the way, I always carry toilet paper. And I probably freaked out many Indians by eating with both hands!!


China varies…a lot. In one case, the toilets were just 4 holes in the ground next to each other. I also experienced a trough system, where all the stalls have a connecting trough where you leave your contributions. This would not be too bad except that it doesn’t have a slant, so whatever you contribute just stays where it is.

The funniest is the western toilets that have been stood upon. Used to squat toilets, some people actually climb up on the western toilet and squat on the lid in order to use the bathroom. You can tell by the footprints on the toilet lid.

The best toilet EVER was a massaging, heated toilet that squirts air, water or deodorant right in your rear. Its like a toy. It has all these buttons; you just can’t help but push them. I mean…HEATED SEAT?!!!

I am sure there will be many more strange toilets in my future. I have to talk about it because it is just such a main part of everyday life. Every day a new toilet to investigate. A new way to flush. A new way to wipe.

Have you ever seen a toilet with an oscillating rear jet stream of water? What is the strangest toilet system you have encountered?

China "fun" toilet
China trough toilet


  1. My first squat toilet and heating/scenting/squirting/air blowing toilet were both in Tokyo! The second was in the basement bathroom of one of the fancy department stores, it blew me away! After Asia, I have to admit, I think they have healthier happier rears...healthy diet, water cleansings, what more could a bum ask for? I'm glad you wrote about this, I just haven't found the guts to do it!


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