19 March 2008

China Tries To Resolve Its Toilet Issue

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.

10 comments:

Kevin Hayward said...

What I'm curious about is whether other countries have had planning problems on this scale and this is the first we've heard of it because of the pervasive use of internet reporting and blogging; or if China is truly steeped in the dark ages to the point where it would be better just to move the Games somewhere else. Might be a combination of both.

I know Greece had some serious construction problems, but I don't remember hearing about anything like this.

Dave said...

the funny thing is, however backward they may seem, squat toilets are best suited to the natural way a human takes a shit.
Next time you gotta drop the deuce, hop up onto your toilet seat in a squatting position -- that shit will just fall right out of you, seriously.

anyway, they still have them in france, too. good times when you're on vacation.

Anonymous said...

Re: Dave...

France and China. Two countries that are not particularly high on my list of vacation destination. The toilets just confirm my suspicions.

Anonymous said...

My wifes bro' and his wife went to China last year. They came back having enjoyed the sights(Great Wall, Terra Cotta army etc.). But they also told us of other quaint things. Everyone smokes everywhere, bitching to much about it is not good. They stayed in a 5 star hotel. There were no pillows, one sheet, a pad instead of a mattress, and a communal privy. The polution was astounding, service was poor. They were able to get extra sheets and another pad from their bemused hosts but it is NOT what your average Joe will EXPECT from a high priced hotel.

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