Thus far, nothing involving the Beijing Olympics has been easy. The games aren’t until August but we’ve already had our share of discussions revolving around protests, pollution, boycotts, human rights, and countless other articles of interest. However now it seems that another brouhaha has emerged over something that has to be considered the foundation of any successful games – the toilets.
During test events leading up to the games, including last weekend’s Dodgers/Padres series, the toilets drew many complaints. Such complaints were mainly due to the fact that they were squat toilets, not the sit-down ones you’re used to. I’d elaborate, but you probably get the distinction.
And so the Beijing Games organizers have listened – sort of. They’re tearing out the squatters at the three main venues so that us Westerners can go number two in relative peace.
"In my personal point of view, there are cultural differences between Chinese and Western people. Chinese are more used to squat toilets," said Yao Hui, a senior official responsible for the management of Olympic venues. "Toilet alteration projects at the Bird's Nest (National Stadium), the Water Cube and National Indoor Stadium are ongoing and if technical conditions permit, all the toilets in these stadiums will be changed.If you’re going to the Games, however, don’t get too comfortable. While they’ll try to replace as many toilets as they can, their first priority will be those to be used by key clients, athletes, Olympic family members and the media. So if that’s not you, keep your fingers crossed, and practice squatting between now and August.