What I Learned About Squatters While Camping in Japan
That title got your attention, didn't it?
Today we're going to talk toilets.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Here in Japan, they have some incredibly advanced advancements. Why, just the other day, I heard Dr. Oz (on Oprah) talking about toilets in Japan that can analyze your urine to check for disease or illness. (I pretty much learn about all cool Japanese things from American media. Ironic, no?!)
Yes! That's right! An incredibly high-tech toilet! Like so many of the toilets here that go above and beyond the call of duty by providing not just a place to, e-hem, relieve yourself, but also a warm seat on which to rest your...seat, special potty music to mask any unpleasant sounds coming from...where ever, and best of all, a hot stream of water to clean your...self with.
They are marvels of cleanliness, happiness, goodness, modern technology-ness, and did I mention happiness?!?!
And then we have..."The Squatty Potty"...which is found here just as frequently.
Many times the public bathroom will offer both options. Sometimes squatters are the only option. As they were at our beach side camp site this weekend. (Which wasn't actually a camp site. Just a beach with a strip of lawn where we set up 5 or 6 tents. But more on that later.)
The "Squatty Potty", or "Squatter", is like a tiny Urinal embedded in the ground. And, as the name implies, it must be squatted over to be used. (At least to be used effectively.)
Here's what I learned about Squatters while camping:
They do have some advantages!
There are some advantages to Squatters...if you're the one in charge of cleaning them!!! You see, the whole bathroom becomes one big toilet. Which makes your job fairly simple. If someone were to miss the squatter, (easy to do) it doesn't matter. Because the bathroom floor is lined with drains. So if you miss the hole in the floor, well, the floor will work just the same. Basically, the moment you set foot inside, you can feel free to pee. (freely)
Because, let's face it: we're striving for efficiency, not accuracy here. (This is evidently also the motto my sons live by.) This makes cleaning a breeze. Simply hose the whole place down.
After racking my brain for hours, this is all I can come up with in the "advantages" category.
Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages:
For the unskilled in squatting, there are no handles to offer assistance.
Yes, that's right. You basically have to be in excellent calf-health to use squatters easily. It also helps to have perfect balance. Because there is nothing whatsoever to hang on to. This may pose a challenge for the "less-then-graceful", but I'm sure I wouldn't know anything about that.
You have to pull your pants down...and up...at the same time.
Although it's important to pull your pants down before "going" you'll also want to pull the bottoms up at the same time. So as not to cause bunchage which might possibly touch the floor. (See above mentioned "advantages") And make sure you situate them at the right height. Too high, no go. To low, no bueno.
Cuts down on reading time
Doug wanted this mentioned
The uninitiated child is NOT cooperative
Children not used to squatters may or may not be cooperative when confronted with squatters. The consequences can be dire. A visit to the hypno-therapist before camping is advisable.
You are really close to the bathroom floor.
Which we all know is disgusting.
Take your time and try to relax!
Rushed release may result in regrettable splatter. i.e. pee on your shoes.
Bring your own soap.
They're not even providing a toilet seat. Why would they provide soap?
Consider bringing your own toilet paper.
Though I haven't personally seen it, I hear sometimes it isn't provided.
I hope this wealth of information makes your next visit to the Squatters a pleasant one! Good luck!!! (You'll need it.)
Any potty experiences you'd like to share??? Do tell!