Monday, March 5, 2012

Funny Stuff: Chinese Toilets and The Exploding Water Heater

Here's the basic problem I have with Chinese toilets:

Chinese Toilet, Tai O Market

Do I have to say anything else?  There's a hole in the ground with two foot pads and a small pedal.  I'm not going to explain exactly how you use this but let's just say I am way to honky to feel comfortable baring my biscuits over that thing.  I understand that these toilets are very common around the world.  It's makes sense.  There's only one moving part, it needs almost no water to run and you can clean it with a garden hose.  But, to a "sit down and do a crossword" guy like me, that thing is nightmare.  Not funny!

I don't want to get into gross details here but let's just say that by the time I got to Xindu, I'd been in China for 24 hours and my body had not yet made the adjustment.  Things had been rough before that.   The toilet at the guest house wasn't flushing and I'd been waiting till we were out and about to do what had to be done.  

I don't know if my hesitancy to use this toilet is just a me thing or what.  The day before we got to Xindu, I was standing at the stand up stall at  a rest stop watching guys go into and out of the "squatters."

 "So you just walk right in there?"  I wanted to ask them.  "It doesn't make you feel weird?   Perfectly normal is it? Is there a cold draft?  Because I couldn't do a draft."  The cure came quickly and unexpectedly.

In many homes and hotels, this guy is placed right under the shower head and acts as the floor drain as well.  By the time I got to the shower, toilet combo in Xindu, 10 hours North West of Hong Kong, I was really too tired to argue with my body about whether or not I was the "squatting" type.  The water heater at Minxi's brother's house was a wall mounted gas number.  On the way into the bathroom, I noticed the gas bottle and flipped it on.  Really hot water sounded so good after the night on the bus and the hours in the all night KFC.  I found a hook on the door for my towel and climbed out of my grimy clothes.  I grabbed the shower head, flipped on the switch and ALL THE GAS THAT HAD BEEN BUILDING UP SINCE I TURNED IT ON AT THE TANK EXPLODED IN A DOOR AND WINDOW RATTLING BOOM.  It was quiet for a few seconds then Minxi's voice came from the other side of the door, "Are you okay?"

"Uh yeah," I muttered.  I wasn't sure how to tell her that while I wasn't likely breathe again for six weeks, at least I'd overcome my fear of the Chinese Toilet.

As therapy, I made this funny shirt, the first of a line of Chinese themed shirts Minxi and I want to start:

1 comment:

Frances said...

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