A sticky subject: Toilets in China – 1 –

As time goes by, and we just began the “Year-of-the-Travel”, I need to address a sticky subject (sticky because it appears in all the China travel experiences, blogs, webpages and general information magazines). Subject is, of course: Toilets in China.

Let me start with something that may be surprising for anyone that has already visited China: “Places – not only toilets – are generally dirty in China, because Chinese people is essentially clean.”

This may seem strange, but, when we, Westerners, see a pile of rubbish, a mound of dog shit we say to our kids “stay away, don’t touch it”. When we grow we lose this good habit, and we go to the pile, we mess with it (to throw it away, of course). The place becomes clean, but, at what price? Chinese people just stay away, they float over the dirtiness, they do not see it with our Westerner eyes. Is this behaviour “better” than ours? After a time of reflection, I am not sure of it.

Let me introduce to examples, before entering the toilet.

These are not one, but two examples of it (both photos come from main offices of Chinese Highway Concession Buildings)

This is a view of the cleaning room (as a matter of fact, it was not a obscure cleaning room without aeration, as we usually have in the West, but the end of a corridor, with sunlight to kill the germs and fresh air to dry the cleaning mop)

I agree, dirt is all over the place, but this is because Chinese people does not like to touch dirty stuff, so, they do not touch it, even with a stick.

And Chinese people care not only about external personal hygiene, but they also want to keep pristine their interior

This is a corridor at the Concessionaire Building, with a spittoon in the middle section.

Even in important, high level meetings, Chinese officials care about their hosts comfort:

This is a well known photo of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos with Ye Xianying, the Queen Sofia, and two spittoons, one for her, one for him

And the million dollar question is: what is cleaner and more hygienic, to throw away your mucosities, or the eat them?

If in China toilet cubicles have no locks, it is precisely to protect you from grabbing a contaminated doorknob. They often do not have door, either, because wood accumulates residues, bacteria and microflora from so many shitty hands (there is no paper, either) that Chinese people would not touch it.

In the next entry I will enter into details. Faint of heart, please abstain