Friday, April 04, 2008

US Toilets

We have all been overseas haven't we. We know about the different toilets/bathrooms/lavs. What? You haven't? While all of us around the world are doing the same thing, we seem to use different appliances to do it. Can I rename what we call in Australia a toilet, to an appliance?

I shan't dwell on Asian squat toilets. Most are awful and disgusting, but in classier places they are ceramic and have a hose for washing. The upmarket ones are not so bad but I really don't like standing or squatting on perhaps clean wet floors, but who would know. The areas are invariably wet. You haven't had experience of a shower in Asia, or an Asian person use your shower? Believe me, the whole area will be very wet. Stereotype I know, but I am yet to be proved wrong.

I haven't been to the Middle East, but I would guess that there is much water splashed around there too.

The French have their bidets. Given that I once read that a bar of soap lasts a French person for three years, it is just as well.

Of course the English keep coal in their baths. They just pop another anorak on to contain and dissemble.

Not having been to the UK or to Europe, I am only guessing here, but I think they have the same types of toilets as we do in Oz. The water sits in the low neck of toilet, you flush and everything disappears down either the S or P shaped bend and hopefully cleans the sides. In these water saving times in Oz, the amount of toilet flushing water is much reduced and the appliance may require more than one pushing of the flush button to clear the flotsam and jetsam, thereby defeating the water conservation measures. Who thought that one up?

Asian countries seemed to have sided with the US on the matter of flushing toilets. The water sits very high in the appliance and while I was not alert the first time I used one, I was very very alarmed. Upon activating the flush system, the appliance quickly filled up nearly to the brim. OMG, as young peoples say and I stepped back to avoid the imminent overflow. Then suddenly with a very audible slurp, it all disappeared and the water level returned to normal.

I should have done some research on this before writing. There are many assumptions, especially about American 'bathrooms'. I have no idea of the mechanics of these toilets that fill to the brim. Are they typically US? Perhaps there is a release flap when the weight of the water gets to a certain point and the flap opens. This sounds like it could go so so wrong. Our toilets only fail by water continuing to run into the appliance which is usually short term fixed by tapping on or repressing the button.

Over to you Daisy Jo, educate the Aussies, but don't shoot me with your own branded gun.


  1. "The French have their bidets."

    Whereas the English Aristocracy simply use the tongues of the lower classes.

    I always thought that Australians just stuck their arses against a gum tree and waited for the box jelly fish to pick 'em clean.

  2. I learn something new just about every day here.

  3. those japanese toilets that squirt your bum are fantastic!

  4. as for europeans, they do have a different system again

    there is a "shelf" that you do your business on, then it gets flushed off from that. it's foul.

    as for the water levels. whoever designs the toilet essentially sets the water level. they are designed to always stay at the same level. so if you pour a bucket of water in, the water level will stay

  5. Lost.For.Words.
    ROFL @ Brian.

  6. Kiki, I think you're referring to the dutch toilets which, whilst disgusting, reveal any digestive issues (like blood in your shit). I didn't see such toilets in the UK, Spain or France - but the UK has carpeted bathrooms. Impractical but strangely cosy.

    What's with coal in the bath? That's just plain weird. Then again the British have always confused me.

  7. We have low-flush toilets now, and the water level can be set, but you're right - they do seem sometimes to almost overflow before going down. If you'd like, I'll post some pictures tomorrow?

    Funnily enough, I had a Daisy bb gun as a kid, and I was a crack shot!

  8. European toilets are indeed the same. But you have to pay to use the public ones! Isn't that bizarre? I suspect it has to do with paying someone to maintain it.

  9. I can't remember what overseas toilets are like other than they are usually called WC's in England and as Rosanna said you have to pay for use in Europe.

    The other thing is in Singapore, don't shake your hands after washing them, you'll get told off by the attendant. Well that's what happened to me at Changi Airport. Since then it's something i try not to do. It really irks me when others do it, especially at my workplace, I don't like receiving the water off other peoples hands!

    What about those French Exceloo things that play music and clean themselves out when you've finsished. They can't do a very good job because every one I've had the displeasure of using has been filthy. At least the ones here in Melbourne aren't very nice.

  10. Our knowledge of Australia is delightfully patchy Brian.

    More than you really wanted to know Jo.

    Ok Kiki. I have seen one of those Euro toilets somewhere.

    You are encouraging him Jayne.

    Re the English Reuben, the coal storing used to be true.

    Err, pictures Daisy Jo....not sure about that. So there could have been a movie made called Daisy Gets a Gun.

    We used to have to pay to use public ones in the city Rosannna.

    Agree Ben, the Exceloos are not nice at all.

  11. Ben, regarding your exeloo comment, I had reason to use one - for the first time - just this morning. Andrew, coincidentally, it was the one near Kerford road pier. Let me just say the music was the first thing that "rattled" me. The next was the pressing the button for toilet paper - not easy to do when one is hovering over the appliance - I was bemused that it only dispensed a miniscule amount of paper, and that you could only press the button three times in succession before it would stop dispensing all together. Let me tell you, my thighs were burning by the time I had finished, as I had to let the toilet paper thingy "reset" before I could hit the button again. Ten minutes later, I left the facility, so disturbed on so many levels. There is only so much "automatic" I can take.

  12. Ten minutes Hawkeye? I thought the door auto opened if you were longer than five. When we used to have to 'spend a penny' in the city , or ten cents as I recall, the toilets were always spotless.

  13. But what's the coal in aid of, Andrew. I believe it's true, but what did the coal do to enhance the bathing experience?

    And yes, Exeloos are disgusting by and large.

  14. Ten minutes, I shit you not. The toilet paper thingy took so long to reset! I had to reset the thing four times, as it would only dispense a max of 2 sheets (or equivalent) at a time. And let me tell you, it was NOT the luxury 4 ply I'm used to having at home. I was panicking that the door would open and there I'd be, hovering, legs akimbo and humming along to the muzak for all the early morning bike riders to see. I even rummaged in my bag for tissues/napkins/something/ANYthing to use instead.

    I HATE public toilets.

  15. The coal was used for heating. It is said by those on the continent, except the French who is alleged wash even less than the English, and Australians, that the English never washed, so they used the bath as a store place for coal. It is true in at least one instance that R told me about.

    Best avoided for sure Hawkeye. We saw a door open on someone once at Caulfield Park. He was not alarmed that all and sundry could see him relaxing on the po.

  16. I've seen photos of a toilet themed restaurant in Taiwan. At the front it has separate Ladies and Gents entrances. All the seats are toilet bowls with the seat down. The food is served in mini toilet bowls. The deal breaker for me are the deserts that look like things that should be floating around in real toilets.

  17. What can I say Ben but, oh dear.

  18. "It is said by those on the continent, except the French who is alleged wash even less than the English, and Australians, that the English never washed..."

    You think that's bad? You want to see what we do in the coal bunker...

  19. I never use those automatic toilets. I am always afraid I will be showered with toilet cleaner or hoovered down some vent or all the walls will close in and the whole thing will implode. Oh and the door deciding to open...well that just adds to the horror and makes you hurry.The comments on this post are hilarious and just go to show that people are fascinated by toilets.

  20. I cannot even imagine Brian.

    I only went into one once out of curiosity LiD. Not nice. I guess people are interested. It is funny how they are different around the world. There was a good reason why Kenny was a popular movie.

  21. You should check out the German toilets that feature a tray of sorts - presumably for the curious to check things out? I'm fine with them now, but it was a little confronting when I first encountered them as an squeamish 17year old.

  22. Reference made to them already in the comments Blonde Canadian. I have seen one somewhere. So they are also German as well as Dutch.