When you think of the world “toilet” what comes to mind? Ideally, a gleaming white ceramic commode would be the case for most Americans, although we’ve all encountered much less pleasant versions (think clogs, dirty bowls…you catch our drift). However, the standard Western Style toilet we’re used to is not the norm in other parts of the world. Different countries are known for their distinct cultures, cuisine, landmarks, and traditions, but their restroom practices might strike many of us as unusual. At Sun Plumbing we’re thankful to have served Brevard County, FL for over 30 years, and we thought it might be interesting to take a quick look into public bathrooms around the world. Read on for some interesting, if slightly gross, practices. By the end of this blog we hope you’ll feel even more thankful to live in the wonderful country we call home.
Although most of Japan has adopted the same type of toilet we Americans are used to, many public restrooms still feature “squat toilets.” To use these contraptions, one has to – you guessed it – squat. This toilet is designed similarly to a small urinal, only placed horizontally on the floor. There are a couple small variations to the squat toilet, but essentially the user, male or female, must face the direction of the “bowl” to use this tricky commode. One wrong maneuver could lead to an embarrassing disaster!
Sweden requires patrons to pay to use their public restrooms. It generally costs between 25 and 50 USD cents per bathroom visit, so it can add up quickly. The reason Sweden charges people to use their facilities is to offset the cost of maintaining the restrooms, which is somewhat understandable. However, if you forget your wallet or don’t have change on you, you’re out of luck!
Public restrooms in Spain are scarce, to say the least. In fact, although millions of people flood the streets of the capital, Madrid, every day, there were only 25 public toilets in this city as of 2017! And if you do locate a public toilet don’t expect there to be toilet paper. The lack of loos force people to either enter a shop or restaurant to use the restroom (this oftentimes means they’re required to buy something) or relieve themselves on the streets. Yuck!
As you can see, there are some cultural differences between America and other countries when it comes to public restrooms. If you’re planning a trip abroad we suggest reading up on the public restroom situation so you can be prepared! We can’t come to Japan to help you out with a clogged toilet, but if you’re in Melbourne or Palm Bay, FL we can help with this and many more of your plumbing needs! Give us a call for sink repairs, drain blockages, broken toilets and more.