In most parts of Asia, you might see squat toilets instead of the sit toilets that you might be used to. Of course, there are sit toilets in Asian countries, but you are more likely to encounter squat toilets rather than sit toilets. They usually look something like this:
This very enlightening photo was very kindly provided by hobotraveler. The link will bring you to his original tutorial.
A very kind soul also wrote a manual of sorts for these toilets on Wikihow.
Having spent 4 months in Indonesia, I have schooled myself to use these toilets. If the squat toilets are clean, I actually prefer to use these instead of the sit toilets. Here are the reasons why:
1. They put your body in a natural pose to get the business done effectively and efficiently.
2. These are usually paired with a water pipe. Water pipes (in my opinion) clean better than using toilet paper. Toilet paper is not eco-friendly anyway. However, I’m not too fond of using the water bucket and ladle. I don’t know who touched what before handling the ladle. But if I have to, this is what I do: I scoop some water out, then tilt the water towards the handle of the ladle (to wash the handle) before going back for another scoop.
3. I don’t have to worry if somebody has tinkled and sprinkled on the seat before me, and did not bother to clean after herself.
In addition to the tips provided on Wikihow, I find them easier to use if I am wearing a skirt and a pair of flats. Using them while you are in heels might prove to be one of the most challenging 5 minutes of your life! I also find it easier to use (if I happened to be wearing shorts or trousers) if I removed my pants prior to assuming the pose. Bring a packet of tissue paper along to dry yourself. DO NOT throw the used piece of tissue paper (or ANYTHING) into a squat toilet – there is usually a bin next to the toilet overfilling with tissue paper. Take the hint and use it. Developing countries don’t have good plumbing systems or infrastructure. Check back with them in the year 2050.
Oh, do not look downwards while you are doing your business. You might get some stuff on your face. Please look forward.