Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Toilets (You may not want to read this while eating)

So this has been something that has been on my mind lately, but I haven't had the time to post about yet.  I have actually had this conversation with David, another teacher in the program, and he also noticed these things.  I will try to find pictures to illustrate my points, but that might take some time.

Have you ever noticed that toilets are different around different parts of the world?

First off, you have our good old American toilets.  Their major defining characteristic is the whirlpool flow of the water when you flush:

Then you have German toilets.  They are very interesting, as there is a large platform or shelf in which your poo lands.  Then it stares at you until you flush the toilet, and a flood of water passes over the platform and pushes it down into the pipes. 

I have also experienced some rather interesting toilets in Spain.  The most memorable was at a placed called Cafe Futbol in Granada.  They had a porcelain thing that looked like a urinal, but you also had to poo there.  I had the pleasure of having too poo there.  It turns out that there is no place to sit down, and so I had to stand up while I took care of business.  This was interesting enough, but to add to the excitement they have a time sensor for the lights.  And the light switch is outside of the bathroom.  Unfortunately I do not have a picture of this one.

Toilets in Mexico and Argentina apparently do not have good piping systems, and so any toilet paper that you use cannot go into the toilet.  There is a trashcan in every restroom, and you put your used toilet paper there.  Let's just say these are not my favorite types of toilets.

My latest international experience is with the Chilean waterfall toilets.  When you flush them, it is like a mini Niagra Falls coming to life.  There is a big rush of water that comes out of the top and shoots out to cover from one end of the rim to the other, and it will even splash out of the toilet a bit.  Oh yeah, and when you live with people in Chile you do not share toilet paper.  You keep it in your room and bring it with you each time you need to use it.

So that's all for my mindless rambling for now.

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