Today is a story about ladies and loo’s! Another in my Women with Wanderlust series and something we ladies have to worry about much more than men. I hope you enjoy it.
An excerpt by Adrienne Lee of Here 2 There Travel
During a recent trip to China I visited Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai and my, what an experience. The majority of toilets are squatters, so flexibility and good balance are necessary skills to have.
For Chinese locals who are been trained to use them from an early age, it’s no big deal. But for westerners, it can be a really big deal; particularly since there are no handles or rails to hold onto.
The good news is that if there is a stall for the disabled, it will have a western-style commode. So if there’s no one disabled in the restroom, it can be an alternative to the squatter.
But wait, there’s more. Very few — like almost none — of them have paper towels or toilet paper. It’s called BYOP (bring your own paper). So each day before we left the hotel I stuffed my pockets and purse. Yep, I felt like a Charmin pack mule but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
I’d also add that you should carry hand sanitizer wherever you go plus a pack or three of tissues. It’s not just toilet paper that you may be missing in a bathroom. It might not have water or soap or both. When I was in China we started a rating system that we’d share with each other. 5 stars meant that it was relatively clean, had western toilets, running water, soap and TP. The scale went down from there.
Don’t you wish there was an app for bathrooms when you travel? Maybe someone is working on it! Although “bathroom” is not a common term. Neither is “restroom”. “Water Closet”, “WC” or “toilet” is sometimes what you have to ask for to find what you are looking for. “Restroom” could get you somewhere you really don’t want to be.
If you’re in Portland, I also met the person who wrote the book, Best Places to Pee. Clearly, bathroom’s are a hot topic with the ladies. There may not be a book everywhere we travel but at least I know where to go when I’m home. Maybe you’ll come visit and it will help you too!
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