When we moved to Japan in 1966, they had begun their conversion to western style toilets where you sit on the bowl, rather than the typical Asian style, "squatty-potty" where you squat over a bowl set in the ground. It was so new that our first apartment had the following "instructional" diagram in our bathrooms:
- Heated seat
- rear bidet spray
- front bidet spray
- accompanying sound of running water (to prime the pump or provide modesty, I guess)
Often included (especially in train stations and airports which seem to have the nicest toilets!) are accompanying music as well as a small TV screen! Take a look at the new instructions:
I have to admit, these devices did encourage lingering! My sister and I really shed a tear as we visited our last Japanese bathroom in the Osaka airport as we left for Beijing.
Now the Chinese toilets in public places and restaurants are still for the most part the squatty-potty, though some had handicapped stalls with western toilets (not sure if that is a commentary on what they think of westerners, but we were grateful for them):
The cleanliness of the Chinese toilets was not too bad...I'd say on par with US ones. And they did have some interesting rules that were clearly marked in some places:
Due to our obsession, we found the differences in bathroom culture fascinating. Hope I haven't grossed you out too much!