March 19th, 2008

storyteller doll

Going Abroad

A news article today reminded me of a book I once saw titled Going Abroad and I have, therefore, borrowed its title. It seems that Olympic athletes are all upset at China. Oh, not over little things like Tibet. No, the big issue of the day is squat toilets.

I have had people tell me numerous times that they wouldn't travel to various parts of the world because of toilet conditions, but, really, I just want to grab them and tell them to get over it. Squat toilets can be perfectly clean (and often are cleaner than the token Western toilets). And it's not really all that difficult to use them.

Were the same athletes all upset in Athens to discover that you don't put toilet paper in Greek toilets? There's a little basket next to the toilet for that. (Which is also common in much of South America, by the way.)

Having been in more than one place where the only option was which patch of vegetation you were going to water (or fertilize), I just don't get the fuss.