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Weird Things You Didn't Know About Bathrooms In Countries Other Than The US

Updated May 1, 2020 1.7m views18 items

Bathrooms: you’ve got to have them or things get messy immediately. But do you ever think about what restrooms are like in other countries? Do you ever feel like you’re missing out, that everything good is happening somewhere else in relation to toilets? If you’ve ever traveled overseas then you know that bathroom facilities and the rules concerning them vary wildly from country to country. Some far off destinations have toilets that are cousins to the bathrooms that you understand innately if you grew up in America, but some weird foreign bathrooms seem like they’re from another planet. If you’ve never been outside the good ol’ U.S. of A then prepare yourself for some culture shock, because some bathrooms in foreign countries are the exact opposite of what you know and love about the toilets that you’re used to.

What are the rules when you go to the bathroom in another country? Is there anything you should bring? What does it cost? Are you expected to clean up after yourself? And what is that smell? These are all questions that will be answered in full when you start reading about bathrooms around the world. Some of the facilities are considered a work of art, and others could use some sprucing up or a complete re-design depending on how you feel about waterborne illnesses. Continue reading to find out all about the bathrooms of the world.  

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  • Please Don't Flush Toilet Paper In Mexico

    It's important to remember that while many places have incredibly modern plumbing systems that can handle pretty much whatever gets thrown at it, there are a lot of countries where this luxury is not available. For instance, in Mexico it's completely against the rules of bathroom politeness to flush toilet paper. The lack of a modern sewage system in Mexico means that it's harder to filter out toilet paper if it makes it into the toilet, and the pipes themselves might not be able to handle the excess material. You could clog up whereever it is that you're going to the bathroom if you're not careful. Keep that in mind next time you go south of the border. 

  • If You're In Sweden, Get Ready to Pay To Pee

    While traveling in Sweden you should keep in mind the fact that it's important to use the bathroom before traveling outside of your hotel room (or wherever it is that you're hanging your hat for the evening). The larger cities in Sweden have a pay toilet system, which means that every time you need to go to the bathroom while you're out enjoying their pristine roadways and construction you'll be spending some much needed Krona. The money goes into upkeep of the bathrooms, and there's the thought that if you're spending the money then you'll be taking better care of the facilities. 

  • Get Ready To Squat With Strangers In China

    If you're going to go to the bathroom in China you have to prepare yourself to get out of your Westernized comfort zone. First of all, most bathrooms are unisex, so get over whatever social mores you have about using the bathroom next to someone with different genitals as you. Secondly, while there are some Western style toilets in China, most of them are of the squat variety. If this kind of thing stresses you out you might want to get some practice in before you leave the country. 

  • Russian Bathrooms Tend To Be Poorly Constructed

    This isn't to say that every single bathroom in Russia is poorly constructed, or built without even an ounce of care, but when athletes went to Sochi for the 2014 winter Olympics they were greeted with some of the worst facilities of the 21st century. There were side by side toilets, toilets with lids screwed on backwards, and holes in the ground that look like they were made specifically to be ruined by drunk marathon runners. So if you have a chance to check out Sochi, make sure you make use of the Olympic facilities so you can feel like a world class athlete.