Thought I’d quickly share something that has been annoying me recently: SQUATTING.
It is my understanding that in Mainland China instead of toilet seats they squat and pee in to holes in the ground. This is what tends to be the case in a lot of third world countries as I have recently experienced on my travels in South East Asia.
However, Hong Kong is very civilized being so westernized and always trying to achieve this where it fails to be so. There are free public toilets everywhere and they tend to be cleaned regularly which is incredibly convenient. They will even have one cubicle with a hole on the floor as opposed to a cubicle for those who prefer this which I think is both fair and considerate.
So why is this a problem?
Mainland Chinese girls are squatting on toilet seats, despite them being designed for sitting. This has proven problematic far too many times as there will be footprints and urine all over the toilet seats – which in itself is problematic for numerous reasons – and the toilet seats often break. It has become such an issue that a note has been placed on the communal toilet.
Hygiene is not a priority or even a consideration for a lot of these girls and there’s only so much that I can reveal in this blog as some of the stuff that happens it simply too horrific to include here.
For example, there was a child desperate for the toilet on the MTR. His parents told him to pee there and then. To clarify, the MTR is the train here in Hong Kong and is kept in very good condition. Compared to the tube in London, it is never dirty, there is no litter (due to excessive fines for littering) and in my experience there have been absolutely no technical issues with it. For the parents of this child to encourage, yet alone advocate this kind of behaviour was simply shocking.
Contrary to all of this, there are some parts of China that are civilized and it has been very interesting to learn about the differences between people from different parts. This comes as little surprise given the vast enormity of China.
Mystifyingly a lot of the Mainland Chinese wear masks all day everyday, even whilst giving class presentations yet adopt these behaviours.
At times, the toilets are too repulsive to use and I will seek another toilet. Nonetheless, it has been a challenge that I am happy to have faced and keep facing. Hong Kong is so developed that it is easy to forget that I am in South East Asia. This serves as a reminder that this is in fact Chinese territory.