For foreigners, and especially women, squat toilets can present something of a practical quandary. Which way do you face?
Most travelers in China have had to face them, and most expats have had to get used to them. Squat toilets are everywhere in China, and for most Chinese, are preferred to Western-style toilets. In highway rest stops and malls – the two most likely places in China to find a combination of squat and sitting toilets – I’ve seen, time and again, Chinese women fidgeting impatiently as they wait for a squat toilet. When it comes right down to it, most Chinese still prefer squatting to sitting on the toilet, to avoid contact with germs on the toilet seat. (Hence the need for signs in bathrooms requesting that people refrain from squatting on the seats of sitting toilets.) For many people, the sitting toilet is as odd and unfamiliar – and as disgusting – as the squat toilet is to most Westerners.
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