Sunday, June 23, 2013


I've been in Hong Kong almost a whole month now, and I've posted about as many pictures as there are hours in a day, so it's obvious that I'm enjoying myself.  But I also know that I'm funnier and tell better stories when I'm bitching about something than when I'm describing how awesome it is.  It's the hard truth.  So putting the label on this that I'm thoroughly enjoying my time here, the bitching (while true) is simply for entertainment, so calm the fuck down.

1)  The toilets.  Let's have a little chat about bathrooms, shall we?  Hong Kong is a very clean city.  VERY clean.  There are no pieces of gun stuck to the streets, and not a single mark of graffiti anywhere in the city.  That being said, while the restrooms are also very clean, there are some issues for someone like myself - especially if said person has not been forewarned.

Many of the restrooms in HK and China are BYOTP. Yes, that means BRING YOUR OWN TOILET PAPER.  Ok, so you want me to buy a roll to keep in my purse IN CASE I leave the house??  Are you really serious with this?  What if you happen to be unaware of such practices and therefore are stuck mid-pee looking around for where the TP might be hidden?  That happened to me ONCE, and I was so horrified that I felt dirty all day.  I still feel dirty thinking about it.  Ugghh.  And then there's this:
OH HELLLLLLLLL NO.  Yes.  That is a toilet you squat over.  Ironically they provided you toilet paper for this one, probably since it's impossible not to piss all over yourself.  I first saw this at the public restroom at the beach we went to.  While surprised, I wasn't COMPLETELY shocked since if you're going to see a squat toilet it's going to be at some public recreational facility that's dirty and rarely kept up.  Up until now I had been in toilets in civilized places, such as my apartment, nice restaurants, my office, etc.  Then we went to mainland China.  Guess what's the norm?  YEP, THAT.  In rest stops, in the hotel lobby (thank god our room was safe from this travesty of hygiene), in NICE RESTAURANTS.  I managed to get through 90% of the weekend finding the handicapped single restroom and using that, since you can't expect a paraplegic or an 80-year-old to squat over a hole. 

Then it happened.  I had to pee and there were no civilized places within walking distance.  The ONE restroom had 4 stalls of this bullshit, and of course, no TP.  The worst possible scenario.  I had no choice.  I went balls to the wall, literally removing the bottom half of my clothing and hanging it up to prevent me pissing all over my shorts, which if I wanted that to happen I could've just pissed my pants and avoided this squatting nonsense altogether.  Then I started getting all confused.  Do I face the wall or the door?  Does it matter?  How far away do I need to be?  Will I lose my balance and fall into this porcelain urine-soaked abyss, forever scarred from using public toilets?

Yes, it was very uncomfortable.  Yes, it was exactly as horrifying as I imagined.  Yes, I used an entire travel bottle of hand sanitizer for the next hour and a half.  No, I will not be doing this again.  Ever.  And I sincerely apologize to the person who used the stall after me, since let's just say I haven't had as much practice as they have.  My bladder will physically burst before I put myself through the squat toilet ever again.  And for those of you wondering, no, I don't go camping, and yes, this is primarily why.


Part 2 upcoming...


  1. Hahaha!!! Yeah, many of the places in Peru were BYOTP (I did indeed stash a roll in my backpack!) and at least in the sacred valley, the toilets couldn't accomodate toilet paper so after you used it you had to throw it in the garbage pail. I did get used to it after awhile, but I was NOT a fan. And this was true even in the VERY nice hotels we stayed in. I'm not sure I've known my husband long enough to not flush my toilet paper!

  2. Turkey was full of these things. I was aghast.


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