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Old 01-20-2006, 03:22 PM   #1
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Exclamation Speaking of toilets...How do you even use this one?!

I had been warned about these toilets when we first moved here, so I knew what to expect. But talk about panic when I was walking down the stalls and looking in and ONLY seeing these holes in the floor! I was panicking because I was 7 months preggo and desperately had to go, and there was NO way to squat and rise from that position. Plus I am not that talented in the first place!! LOL!!

Luckily for me this little old lady came out of the very last stall and looked at me and my belly and pointed to hers. I walked down and looked in and was sooo very relieved. I said, "Thank God!" LOL!

And for those of you wondering why I would even take a photo of this in the first place, well, my family didn't believe me or just couldn't figure out what I was talking about. So I took pictures as proof! LOL.

The coolest Japanese bathroom I've been in was in Tokyo. It had half floor toilets and half "American" style toilets. What was so cool was that it had a sound system. You push the button and as you're doing your business loud bubbling water like in a flowing stream or river is played! So it avoids any embarassing sounds I guess. Plus they have these child seats, you can sit your child up in this seat hanging low on the wall and do your business. Pretty neat.



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Old 01-20-2006, 03:28 PM   #2
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whoa!
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:30 PM   #3
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OMG! Doesn't Mamak have a hole in the floor story that cracked me up too? This is one dangerous looking contraption!
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:40 PM   #4
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The first time I went to Japan I just finished 2nd grade. My mom and her two sisters that live here in the States all went. It was the first time my grandmother ever got to see 3 of her 4 grandchildren. She had one of these tiolets in her house. I was scared of it! Thought I would fall in! Luckily, she had an "American tiolet" (that's what they called it) installed before we arrived. The coolest thing about her new toilet was that before the water went into the tank, it came out a small pipe above the tank so that you used it to wash your hands. (ok, that sounds kinda gross...the water was clean. Then it went in to the rectangular tank and then it would end up in the bowl after the next person flushed) I've always been amazed about how conscious my grandmother and aunt were about conserving water.
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #5
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I don't understand why they would use these kinds of toilets as opposed to the "American" ones. Why would anyone want to squat if they don't have too. There must be some rationale that we are unaware of. Does anyone know the answer? They sure do look uncomfortable. What about the elderly & handicapped. Strange!
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
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call me ignorant...but I really don't know how you would use that thing!
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
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I would pee on my clothes!!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:23 PM   #8
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Maybe you have to get naked and kneel.

Ewwww.

I don't think those were invented for us 6'0 tall corn fed American women.
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:40 PM   #9
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Diana..I saw this thread and knew exactly what you where talking about before I even opened it!! I had my first encounter with one of these not to long ago at the Okinawa Aquarium. My 4 year old DD had to "go" really bad and the line was a million people long so it was a take what you get kind of thing. We finally get into a stall and there it was on the floor. I wanted to die!!! I made her pull her clothes down as far as she could get them, and I folded her up, held her over it and said "shoot" hoping it was going to land where it was supposed to! I was hysterical. My DD and I laughed the whole time. She had to run out and tell my DH that she "Pee'd on the floor". Very funny. I have decieded unless I am going to burst there is now way I am using those things!!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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I used to live in Tokyo during high school. I belonged to the Travel Club and anywhere we went (and I mean anywhere!), the teacher knew where the "Western" toilets were. That always cracked me up because I didn't know what she meant by Western - thinking it must be something related to cowboys. LOL. I soon found out what she was talking about.

And I never learned to use the hole in the ground! I seriously do not know how you use it without peeing all over yourself!!! Although perhaps a skirt is better than pants in this situation...???

And finally, I think the reason they have the "hole in the ground" toilets is because space is soooooooooooo limited in Japan. They do not have houses, offices, restaurants, shops, etc big enough to accomodate a room dedicated to a sit down toilet and sink. Even though Japan is an industrialized nation, we Americans have a higher standard of living when it comes to housing. Many Japanese people sleep on the floor (on futons) in a room which also serves as their living space where they read the paper or eat dinner for example. This is why Japanese people take off their shoes when they enter a home. You wouldn't want your street shoe dirt all over the place where you are going to lay your head at night.

Well, kind of a long answer here! Sorry!!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:04 PM   #11
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I remember the first time I saw one of those! On my first trip to Hong Kong we had a layover in Tokyo and I had to PEEEEEE, so I got in line in the bathroom. There were stalls on the left and the right. When it was my turn, the next available was on the right. I go over, open the door, and just stare. I was ilke, "Why the heck is there a hole in the floor? And where's the freaking toilet?" lol. So I stepped aside to let someone else go, and got a lot of dirty looks from the locals. lol. Anyway, on the left hand side were "regular" toilets, so I eventually got to use one of those.

How you use it, though, you put your feet on either side of the toilet and squat, facing the part that sticks up a bit. I've always been afraid of peeing all over myself, though, to have actually used one.
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:12 PM   #12
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I know! I could might try if I were desperate and was wearing a dress, but still... I don't know how you do it wearing jeans. I am going to ask my neighbor how to use it. LOL!! If you look at the photo Muffin, the stall is very large, so it would seem to give you room to undress if necessary.

They are used to squatting. They eat on very low tables, lower than coffee tables. True Okinawan are very short, less than 5 foot, so it's just not a hardship for them.

Hmm...when I went to the restroom at the aquarium, it was a regular toilet. The one near the big restaurant as you walk in to get to the elevators. Thank goodness for that! I have had to help DD use the floor toilet because we've been at parks or the beach and that's all they had! She has a very small bladder and it never fails we have to take her potty somewhere. I tell you, we were laughing so hard as I helped her! This is how we did it...She pushed her shorts all the way down and I held her arms up as she stood all closer to the front of the toilet. Then gripping her hands for dear life she leaned back and down. I think I had tears rolling down my face we were laughing so hard.

Just one of those funny things you experience overseas! Oh and they have these kinds of toilets in France too!
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKKatie
I remember the first time I saw one of those! On my first trip to Hong Kong we had a layover in Tokyo and I had to PEEEEEE, so I got in line in the bathroom. There were stalls on the left and the right. When it was my turn, the next available was on the right. I go over, open the door, and just stare. I was ilke, "Why the heck is there a hole in the floor? And where's the freaking toilet?" lol. So I stepped aside to let someone else go, and got a lot of dirty looks from the locals. lol. Anyway, on the left hand side were "regular" toilets, so I eventually got to use one of those.

How you use it, though, you put your feet on either side of the toilet and squat, facing the part that sticks up a bit. I've always been afraid of peeing all over myself, though, to have actually used one.
LOL!! But what do you do with your jeans and panties???
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:16 PM   #14
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You know, I'm not sure! lol. I would think that you'd have to take them off to make sure you didn't get spatter on them, but I'd be really uncomfortable being that naked! lol I was just thinking, "I'll have to ask my dh" but then I realized he won't know because all he has to do is unzip his pants! lol
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:16 PM   #15
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This thread is two funny. I went to Japan for two weeks to visit my daughter who was teaching in a very small town about 3 hours north of Hiroshima. We traveled all over the country. One of my favorite things was to check out the toilets. I don't think I saw the same kind of toilet twice except for the ones like in your photos I saw and used lots of those. I took photos of all the different toilets I saw because I didn't think anyone would believe me.
The squat toilet took a bit of getting used to but when you got to go, you got to go! The toilet in my daughters house really didn't flush very well it had a squirt hose attached to clean the inside if the toilet after use, but it also had a heated seat. Good thing too, she had a small space heater to heat the whole house. It was so cold in the winter she sometimes slept with a hat and mittens and winter coat on.
The funniest use of the toilet was on the bullet train. I found the American style toilet and the room was huge. I pushed the button and the door slid open, I didn't realize I hadn't locked the door, so I'm sitting on the toilet and the door slides open again. There stands this eldery Japanese woman, I'm yelling CLOSE THE DOOR! CLOSE THE DOOR. Like she could understand me!!! ... All the while people are walking past her and me trying not to pay any attention to the fact that they have this screaming American sitting on the toilet.
I also found out at one of the castles that when you push the emergency button people come running! I was just pushing all the buttons in the stall to see what they would do! That must be for the Americans who tip over in a squat toilet!!! LOL
But I must say the nice hotels have the most wonderful toilets, they do everthing for you! Warm your fanny, wash and dry you. I told my husband some day I want to have one of those!
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:58 PM   #16
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I encountered those porcelain holes in the floor when I spent the summer studying in Italy. Sometimes you had no choice but to use one, but it sure didn't take long to learn which cafes in Vicenza to avoid!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:05 PM   #17
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Ok I may not live in the real "America" but I am SO happy I have normal toilets.. too weird! So how do you use them?
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:10 PM   #18
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What do you do if you have to do #2?
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassybee
What do you do if you have to do #2?
Squat!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:21 PM   #20
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cindy nagel
I don't understand why they would use these kinds of toilets as opposed to the "American" ones. Why would anyone want to squat if they don't have too. There must be some rationale that we are unaware of. Does anyone know the answer? They sure do look uncomfortable. What about the elderly & handicapped. Strange!
I much much much prefer squattie potties! NO dirty seat to sit on! Just squat and go.... and if you need to go #2 it comes out much much easier on a squattie potty!!

And yes, my funny story has to do with a trough style restroom in rural China where a lot of people gathered around to inspect my pubic hair and nether regions while I went to the bathroom! It was MORTIFYING!!!! I was like HURRY AND PEE and get out! there were no stalls, just a big open trough cut in the ground.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:25 PM   #22
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Seriously, what woman doesn't squat over a public toilet anyway? I don't put my butt on those seats!!!

I just pull down my pants/undies to the knees, hold them out with my hand, squat and go.... VERY clean, VERY neat, and never spilled a drop on my clothes, I promise!!

This thread is cracking me up!! Squatty potties rule!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:26 PM   #23
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i went to japan this past summer on a 2 week school trip. believe me, i saw plenty of those toilets. thankfully, i only had to use one once: ironically, at kyoto station during the last few days of the trip. it was too funny!
the guys in my group told tons of stories about their "domination" of the toilets.

my host family had one of those toilets with the sinks on top. it scared the crap out of me when i used it for the first time! i did not expect that water to sart pouring when the toilet flushed! but let me tell you, it was easier getting used to that than the bath/shower room! (the baths were nice though...lol)
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:40 PM   #24
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One more speech in my campaign for squatty potties...

How many times have you been in a public restroom and seen the motherload of poo or worse (auntie flo much?? EWW!) left behind. Let me tell you, if you REALLY have to go, do you want to sit on a toilet seat with THAT in it??

The nice thing about a squatty potty is that even if someone leaves a nasty present behind... I ain't gonna have to touch that stuff! I squat, I move on.... I don't even have to touch a handle with my hand.... see the clever little foot pedal? I just click it with my (shoes on!) foot and walk out.... never have to touch anyone else's grodyfunked poo-laden germ-freaky-nasty handles or anything!

I'm telling you, it rocks! I think we're just used to what is our cultural norm.... but if you tried it, you just might like it!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkisInOkinawa
What was so cool was that it had a sound system. You push the button and as you're doing your business loud bubbling water like in a flowing stream or river is played! So it avoids any embarassing sounds I guess.
My sister got a kick out of those when she visited Japan a few years ago. She said there was one time when she was finished, she couldn't figure out how to flush because the toilet didn't have a handle like a typical American toilet. She pushed several buttons in the stall and found one that made the sound of a flushing toilet, but the toilet didn't actually flush! After several moments of pondering what to do, she decided the heck with it because she didn't want to keep her DH & his brother waiting any longer. So she unlocked the door to the stall..... and the toilet flushed.
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:57 PM   #26
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OMG THAT IS SOOOOO GROSS!!! EW

*making mental notes to never go over seas!!*

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakimberly
One more speech in my campaign for squatty potties...

How many times have you been in a public restroom and seen the motherload of poo or worse (auntie flo much?? EWW!) left behind. Let me tell you, if you REALLY have to go, do you want to sit on a toilet seat with THAT in it??

The nice thing about a squatty potty is that even if someone leaves a nasty present behind (see below) I ain't gonna have to touch that stuff! I squat, I move on.... I don't even have to touch a handle with my hand.... see the clever little foot pedal? I just click it with my (shoes on!) foot and walk out.... never have to touch anyone else's grodyfunked poo-laden germ-freaky-nasty handles or anything!

I'm telling you, it rocks! I think we're just used to what is our cultural norm.... but if you tried it, you just might like it!
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakimberly
One more speech in my campaign for squatty potties...

How many times have you been in a public restroom and seen the motherload of poo or worse (auntie flo much?? EWW!) left behind. Let me tell you, if you REALLY have to go, do you want to sit on a toilet seat with THAT in it??

The nice thing about a squatty potty is that even if someone leaves a nasty present behind (see below) I ain't gonna have to touch that stuff! I squat, I move on.... I don't even have to touch a handle with my hand.... see the clever little foot pedal? I just click it with my (shoes on!) foot and walk out.... never have to touch anyone else's grodyfunked poo-laden germ-freaky-nasty handles or anything!

I'm telling you, it rocks! I think we're just used to what is our cultural norm.... but if you tried it, you just might like it!
Lovely, MamaK! I'm going to have to back you up in your campaign though! Squatty potties rock! It's really no different than squatting to pee in the woods! And once you pull your pants down, they're in front of you while your business goes down!
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:06 PM   #28
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One of the things I really liked when visiting Japan was the toilet in my friends' apartment had a "big flush" setting and a "little flush" setting. Think of the water we could save here in the US if our toilets had those options!

And I know this is TMI, but I have never, ever been a good squatter for whatever reason (I always manage to pee all the way down my legs), and nearly every time we were in public in Japan and I had to go, I could find at least one stall with a Western Toilet - and luckily I was in a less western touristy area of the country (near Kumamoto City), so there usually wasn't much of a line for it. However, I was visiting the school my friend worked at and it was a big formal affair - presents with the faculty, formal introduction to her English class, etc. and I really had to go - #1 AND #2. I was dressed in nice slacks and heels. So I go to the restroom in the high school, which was at least deserted (as it was the middle of a class) and no western toilets in sight. After I choked down the panic, I undressed completely on the bottom (kept my shoes and hose on) , squatted and prayed. It turned out ok, but if I never see a hole-in-the ground toilet again, that will be just fine with me!

Sorry if this story grossed anyone out.
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:14 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakimberly
I much much much prefer squattie potties! NO dirty seat to sit on! Just squat and go.... and if you need to go #2 it comes out much much easier on a squattie potty!!

And yes, my funny story has to do with a trough style restroom in rural China where a lot of people gathered around to inspect my pubic hair and nether regions while I went to the bathroom! It was MORTIFYING!!!! I was like HURRY AND PEE and get out! there were no stalls, just a big open trough cut in the ground.
You know how Asians are about redheads and blondes! They can't get enough of them! Be thankful they didn't take pictures! LOL!
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:18 PM   #30
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Lovely, MamaK! I'm going to have to back you up in your campaign though!
Seriously swquatting is great and sanitary but big difference between 1 foot and all the way to the floor... my quads are the fattest part of my body for a reason they don't squat that low!
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mamakimberly
see the clever little foot pedal? I just click it with my (shoes on!) foot and walk out.... never have to touch anyone else's grodyfunked poo-laden germ-freaky-nasty handles or anything!
Am I the only one who flushes those nasty public American toilets with their foot? Yeah. Refuse to flush with my hand, even if I am going to wash it later. If I have to stop at a rest stop or a skanky gas station or when we are camping, I always lift my foot up and flush with my (shoe'd) foot. A camp counselor taught me that when I was a kid!
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:17 PM   #32
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Oh, my...you guys are too funny. Well, I've been camping enough and peed in the woods enough that squatty pottys are just a place to deposit it all!! Used them in the Ukraine and Zimbabwe too....funny things. You kind of have to get in the 'down hill skiing' position but a bit lower and it works like a charm. And since the winter olympics are coming up, ya'll can take a peek and see how they do it!!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:41 PM   #33
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Default I am NO squattie on the pottie!

UH-uh, no way! I don't "do" woods. If we camp, there are facilities nearby! I'm SO not an adventurer and squatting in the woods is definitely considered adventureous in my book! LOL.

You girls that can do it, you are SO ultra talented! LOL.

MamaKimberly, you bust me UP! Um, how in the heck are you supposed to aim into that hole! I don't get that toilet at all. YUCK! OMG, I can't believe you braved a crowd of staring Chinawomen staring at your muff! But what do you do?! ROFLMAO!!

When I traveled I always brought a roll of my own TP because the autobahn WC's don't always have toilet paper AND I brought my own sanitizing wipes! I'd wipe the toilet down. I keep them in my DD's diaper bags in case of emergencies. LOL!
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Old 01-20-2006, 08:43 PM   #34
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Oh, my...you guys are too funny. Well, I've been camping enough and peed in the woods enough that squatty pottys are just a place to deposit it all!! Used them in the Ukraine and Zimbabwe too....funny things. You kind of have to get in the 'down hill skiing' position but a bit lower and it works like a charm. And since the winter olympics are coming up, ya'll can take a peek and see how they do it!!!
OK, so I'm watching the Olympics now to learn how to squat. I don't think it will work for me, but there may be a time in the next 3 years that I may have no choice. I guess I'll watch and learn, then do everything in my power to prevent using the down hill ski position!
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:15 AM   #35
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You guys are so funny!! I never knew that they were that big of a deal to other people! I promise you don't have to be an olympian to use one!!! I am just a regular gal!
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:23 AM   #36
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You guys are so funny!! I never knew that they were that big of a deal to other people! I promise you don't have to be an olympian to use one!!! I am just a regular gal!
Not to the Chinese women at the trough! ROFLMAO!!!

Woo-hoo! You are the honored red dragon! LOL!!!

Oh I am laughing so hard. You know I'm kidding right?! I just had to say it though!
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:32 AM   #37
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They are used to that type of toilet over here inIraq too. It is funny - because there are places that have porta potties that none of us use because the local nationals use them-- you can tell that they try to climb on the seat and squat to do their business - it is pretty nasty. But when you think about it -- that is their culture and they are probably wondering why the stupid americans have toilets that you have to climb on to use - lol
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:39 AM   #38
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Okay, I just got out of bed and had to come check this potty thread. Ha! You guys are making me laugh this a.m. Too funny! And, believe me...I'm no olympian either....just a camper and person who when I have to go, I HAVE TO GO! I remember getting into the airport in the Ukraine and it was really late at night....my sis and I were dying to go, and just found a bush out of the way and went! It was a very small airport in Simferopol, but hey...I'm more worried about my comfort...Iguess I have a small bladder. Happy Pee-ing everyone!!
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:41 AM   #39
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Sandy, it's my throne and I rule from it! LOL.

You've got the whole handshake thing too, you can't shake their left hands because they use it to wipe with huh? It's considered very rude. Or is it the right hand??

I respect their culture 100%, but don't mess with the potty, it's so uncivilized! I can adapt to mostly anything, but not that! LOL!!

Boy I am in a silly mood tonight.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:43 AM   #40
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those who are from cultures where they grew up with squatty potties probably think we're pretty gross for wanting to sit where other people put their naked butts.

If you REALLY think about it, the whole concept of putting your naked poopy butt on a toilet seat where other people are going to do the same thing... it's really gross. kwim?

I mean, really, who thought of that? What was their thought process for wanting a toilet seat? I can see the benefits in your immediate family for having a toilet seat... but out in public, there really is no benefit! Other than getting to share buttgerms with the strangers in your community! Ewww!
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