When travelling it’s always a good idea to learn the bathroom habits of the country you are about to visit. It should never be taken for granted that things are the way they are here, all over the world. That could be a drastic mistake, especially if you were to visit somewhere like Poland.
A lot of countries don’t offer toilet paper in public restroom facilities so it’s a good thing to bring your own. You should also know where you might encounter someone that comes in and starts cleaning while you are still in the bathroom! That would eliminate a very awkward encounter, maybe.
#1. In Cuba, toilet paper is not supplied.
Cuba doesn’t have the type of money needed to put toilet paper in all public areas. It’s best that you carry your own with you to be safe.
#2. Outdoor toilets In France used to be considered art.
In the 1860’s and 70’s, there were more than 1,200 outdoor bathrooms around Paris. They were done up nicely and considered works of art. Now there is only one still standing.
Charles Marville / Wikimedia
#3. Make sure to face the right way in Japan.
In Japan, if you face the wrong way you may leave quite a mess. It’s good to do a little research before heading out on the town there. This way you’ll make sure to get things right.
#4. Don’t flush toilet paper while in Mexico.
Mexico doesn’t offer the same type of plumbing that we find here in the United States. If you flush toilet paper it could clog or even break the pipes.
#5. You have to pay to pee in Sweden.
Sweden uses money collected at their public bathrooms, to upkeep them. It’s a good idea in theory but if you happen to be out and about and have to go but are broke, well, you’ll have quite a problem.
#6. Squat with strangers in the restrooms in China.
China uses pretty primitive bathroom settings. First of all they are unisex so you’ll notice that’s different right away. Most places offer nothing more than a hole in the floor to squat over.
#7. Russian bathrooms can be poorly constructed.
Russia hasn’t really mastered the perfect bathroom yet. You will find toilets that sit side by side and even ones with backwards lids. Those people are lucky because at a lot of places there is nothing more than a hole in the ground.
#8. In Scotland, it’s normal to let strangers use your facilities
In Scotland, if you get a knock on the door from a stranger needing to use your facilities, it’s normal to let them in to go. Yeah, try that here!
#9. Don’t pee in the bidet while you’re in Spain.
When you are in Spain you’ll want to know which one you can pee in and which one you can’t. One is meant for cleaning so you’ll want to do your homework before taking on the public facilities.
#10. Your waste is sent to the ocean in Antarctica.
Antarctica doesn’t come complete with awesome sewage systems. This is for obvious reasons. So most of the waste there is pumped right out into the Southern Ocean. It’s not millions and millions of people doing it though so it’s not as bad as it may sound.
#11. Irish people don’t like using public toilets.
A study showed that the Irish will do anything to avoid having to use public facilities. 62% of those talked with said they flat out refuse while 76% of those that do, won’t touch the seat or anything in proximity. Who can blame them?
#12. Don’t be surprised when a woman comes in and starts to clean in South Korea.
In South Korea, they actually have older ladies that clean up public bathrooms. That’s not so surprising but the fact that they will start while you are still in there is a bit surprising. These ladies are called “ajoomas” and they take their job very seriously.
#13. Flushing in Brazil could be tough.
Brazil’s sewage system is very similar to Mexico’s. That means it’s just flat out bad. They don’t allow anything to be flushed down the pipes other than what they are supposed to hold. They do offer comfortable seating though with their leather toilet seats.
#14. Be on the lookout for snakes in Australia.
Australia has long been known to have a snake/toilet problem. The snakes need the hydration during the warm months so they take to the nearest toilets for water. So it’s best to keep an open eye and move slowly when approaching a toilet there.
#15. New Zealand has a whole block of toilets that are also a work of art.
The Hundertwasser Toilets are located in New Zealand’s North Island. They were built using recycled materials and are considered a work of art. They are the main attraction of Kawakawa.
#16. 53% of India doesn’t have toilets.
That’s right most people in India don’t have toilets to use so if you find one over there consider yourself lucky. Because of this several people get sick every year because the people just go wherever the mood strikes them. More people have cell phones than have bathrooms. How about that?
#17. They charge for toilet paper in Egypt.
If you are ever in Egypt you’d better bring your wallet into the bathroom with you. If you need toilet paper you’ll have to pay for it. And if you happen to be broke, they have no problem keeping it away from you. Tough place.
#18. Things aren’t very populated in Laos so you’ll want to be prepared.
You’ll want to carry your own toilet paper with you in Laos. Because this doesn’t look like a highly populated spot so replenishing probably doesn’t happen often.
#19. Ukraine orphanages use this or something similar.
A man spoke of the toilet used in an orphanage: “Many children share these two toilets, which are simply holes above a cesspit. That’s not unusual at rural Ukrainian orphanages. They are outdoors in a brick hut, so it would be very cold and dark in winter.” Wow!
#20. Malawi is bringing privacy to its bathrooms.
The people of Malawi call this a urine diversion toilet in Malawi. It offers some privacy and it’s becoming the new thing to use over there.
#21. Iceland offers entertainment in the bathroom.
If you have to pee in Iceland and you are a man, you are in luck. They set up targets for you to aim for in the urinals. You can choose the face you want to use and just let loose.
#22. Portable pee stands in Belgium.
When there are big festivals in Belgium they roll out these portable pee stands for the men to use. They are placed all over and while they don’t offer any privacy they look convenient. No word on what the women do.
#23. They go right there in the streets in Peru.
It’s common practice to go right there in the streets. A woman can lean up against a wall and try to look innocent, until a stream comes down and shows the world what she is doing. The people there though don’t care because it’s an everyday normal thing.
#24. Chile rarely has toilet paper in public places.
The people of Chile love their toilet paper. They steal it more often than not so if you are out in public you better have your own with you. Chances of going into a public facility and finding it empty are pretty high.
#25. Poland doesn’t offer many public facilities.
Poland has a major problem with public restroom facilities: They don’t have many to offer. It’s something they are working on but it’s something that you need to know before visiting there. Finding a place to go will be extremely tough.
#26. Germany offers full privacy.
Germany takes their privacy very seriously. They have rooms that open up with everything you could need, including full privacy. This is the way to do it!
#27. Thailand uses a “bum gun.”
Thailand doesn’t use toilet paper. Instead they use a “bum gun.” That’s a hose that hangs next to the toilet and is used to clean themselves off when finished. It shoots out water and apparently they can do this without getting all wet because there is nothing offered to dry themselves off. Sounds very interesting.
#28. The “bum gun” is also available in Indonesia.
Toilet paper is hard to find in public restrooms in Indonesia, but the bum gun is always there. Once you get the hang of it you’ll want one for your own bathroom at home too.
#29. Many Asian countries don’t allow toilet paper to be flushed.
They too have poor sewage systems and the paper causes the pipes to back up or in some cases totally break. You’ll find a lot of signs in Asian countries demanding that you don’t put the toilet paper into the toilet. Instead they offer a basket nearby.
#30. People shared the same wiping sponge in ancient Rome.
Back in the day people would sit on these and make use of them. There were sticks in between that had sponges tied to them for people to use to clean off. These sponges would be used all day by countless people. Can you say disgusting?