Thursday, February 20, 2014

Public toilet talk!

Does this look like a public toilet to you?

Not only did it cause me to do a double take but
I felt compelled to take some photos of it for my records!

As I noted in my blog entry for that day, two Sundays ago, I walked from Repulse Bay to Aberdeen.  In passing in that post, I also mentioned my having come across what may well be Hong Kong's most elaborately constructed public toilet while strolling along the Aberdeen waterfront -- and yes, so remarkable did I find it that I'm now hereby dedicating a specific blog post to it!

Funnily enough, when I showed these photos of it to a friend who had lived in Beijing for a time, she remarked that the design style looked "so mainland".  For my part though, I can't recall having come across any public toilets on my one and only trip up north to Mainland China thus far that looked like this elaborately decorated that I saw in Aberdeen. But if truth be told, it's because I remember the designs of the public toilets there far less than I remember the behavior of the people I had the misfortune to witness while in them!!

Rather than spend too much time recalling certain sights that may well have left me mentally scarred for life, I'm going to thank goodness that Hong Kong's public toilets do tend to be cleaner -- and better designed -- than those in a number of other territories I've lived in and visited. (In addition to Mainland China, I also most definitely am not a fan of Malaysia and Tanzania's public toilets!)  

At the same time though, they have a ways to go before they can be considered as nice -- and not a nightmare to visit -- as the public toilets of Japan and -- I have to admit this came as a surprise to me -- Vietnam.  Something else to commend with regards to Japanese public toilets -- and Hong Kong ones too -- is that, unlike in, say, Britain, Turkey, Malaysia and Vietnam, I've never had to pay to use one!  (So yes, that very nice looking public toilet over in Aberdeen is one that people don't have to pay to patronize!)   


Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

This is a public toilet? The outside looks more like a welcoming tourist info office. I can relate to your being sickened by certain public toilets...Years back I took a bus along the entire East Coast of Malaysia. At the time, the rustic east coast was truly memorable. What wasn't so memorable were the filthy public bathrooms and clogged toilets which wouldn't have been out of place in a horror movie!


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Yes, it really is a public toilet. Amazing, isn't it? :b

My commiserations re your Malaysian east coast public toilet experiences. At the risk of adding to your horror, here's letting you know that my all time worst Malaysian public toilet experience was at the Niah Caves in Sarawak. Think open drop and monkeys down below -- urrrrrgh!!!

peppylady (Dora) said...

I haven't seen a paid toilet for ages. When I was a kid there was one you put a dime in. Well usual two things happen on them someone crawl under the door and once that happen everyone use them.
Sure someone once in while would open it for a dime but multi people would use that toilet.

I think they caught on.

Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

I don't think I ever saw on in the US but paid toilets are quite prevalent in countries like Malaysia -- and have to say that they are generally worth paying for as they do tend to be cleaner!

Susan Demeter said...

I would not have guessed that building is a washroom. Its actually quite nice looking. :)

The idea of paid washrooms is really odd to me. I've never actually encountered one, but I have heard of them before.

YTSL said...

Hi Sue --

Re paid public toilets: I think what you may find even weirder are toilet attendants. At some paid toilets, there are people who collect the money from you outside -- and I get the feeling that their duties include cleaning the toilet too.