If you think of China, some of you might think of horrible restrooms. Some of you might have heard that in China restrooms don’t have toilets sheets so Chinese people buy it whenever they come to Japan. I used to live in China and here I will tell you what I saw at the restrooms in China. It is not a delicate topic if you are eating something right now so please beware.
You may not find toilet paper!!
If you go to restrooms in China, you might be surprised that there’s no toilet paper. If it’s shopping malls etc. You might see toilet paper right next to the sink. You’ll have to take that amount of toilet paper you need first then you go to each restroom. Moreover, just because you have the container for toilet paper doesn’t mean that that container has contents. Maybe it is empty.
Some places don’t even have toilet paper so Chinese people always carry tissue paper. You can’t really flush toilet papers so tissue paper is just enough.
Toilet paper is more important than wallets!?
Once I took English exam in Beijing China so I had to leave all the belongings in the waiting rooms we were not allowed to bring any cell phones or wallets. However, several Chinese brought tissue paper with them. They didn’t bring cell phones or wallets but they chose tissue paper to bring with them.
No flushing toilet paper
Also, they don’t flush toilet paper as I mentioned earlier. Their toilet paper is not good enough to be flushed and dissolved in the water. Also water pressure is so weak so that you can’t flush it.
Each compartment has a small garbage bin so you just need to dump the used toilet paper in it. There are a bunch of people prepared foods are supposed to clean the restrooms frequently so they dump the garbage once in a while. If nobody takes care of the trash bins, often the restaurant has a horrible situation.
If you get used to Chinese restrooms…
Once I went back to Japan via South Korea. I went to the restroom at the airport in South Korea, I had to think one second if I can flush the toilet paper. In South Korea, some people are still not a custom to flush toilet paper but usually it’s OK to do that at the public buildings. I to my parents place in Japan, I really hard to get used to flush the paper so I asked my mom if I could flush it. I was joking but getting used to something is very strange. Because I was so used to not to flush the toilet paper.
Also women dump napkins at the restroom but just because they don’t have toilet paper, there’s no place you can use as a tray to change your napkins. That’s why often girls dump napkins without even rolling it. I don’t even know if they think they are supposed to roll it.
Squatting restrooms are more common than Japan
Restrooms are usually squatting style. In Japan, squatting style is really getting less but in China it’s still common. Sometimes squatting restroom might be even better because if it’s a seating style, some people just sit on the seat so you just have to wipe it first. Requires more work so squatting restroom might be easier to use.
Smell is just awful!!
Squatting restroom doesn’t have to cover like those in Japan so if you pee, just messes up the floor. Then you don’t flush the toilet paper so if restroom doesn’t have a ventilation system or window to be opened it’s very smelly and you can’t even breathe.
First, I couldn’t get into restroom because of the smell. However, China sells 3M mask which has a filter to help people for air pollution. You wear this mask, you don’t have to worry about awful smell out to the restroom in China so I always bring it around with me whenever I go out. If you come to China, please consider to buy this, you can get this anywhere.
Western people have more difficulty using squatting restrooms
Apparently, restaurant people are just so not used to use this squatting restroom. It’s not because they don’t want to but they just can’t stand up after they squat. Japanese or Chinese are used to squat since they were kids so they don’t have any problem in this poster but if you’re not used to it, you can’t stand up so western people often have difficulty using this kind of restrooms.
Some restrooms may not have doors
You might see restrooms which don’t have doors. The other day I was talking to exchange students from Japan and he told me that there is greeting restroom which you just see holes on the ground so you can pee next to each other looking at each other. I haven’t seen this kind of restrooms in Beijing but at least I have seen those didn’t have doors. One time I really had to go to restroom at the grocery store so I went to the restroom but they didn’t have the doors so I couldn’t use it. I don’t have courage to use one of them watch for people here it’s still common and they don’t seem to be overwhelmed.
When I had to use that restroom without doors…
However, when I was pregnant I really had to go to restroom and of course they didn’t have doors. Bearing with it when you’re pregnant is not only good for you but also for baby either. So I had to make my mind to use the restroom without the door. Luckily there was nobody and probably nobody really cares but still I don’t think I can do that again.
About hygiene issues
People may not wash their hands
You might be surprised that how many people don’t wash their hands after using the restrooms. At the University, they might be offering only one sink and they are 20 compartments. Many students don’t wash their hands and they just get out from the restrooms. However, I think they know they are supposed to wash their hands because if I stare at them, might come back and wash their hands. However, just because there is a sink doesn’t mean water is available.
The bottle of water might help
In order to deal with this horrible situation, you should bring around the bottle water. They’re all convenient stores everywhere in China and it’s very cheap so if you have one bottle of water you don’t have to worry about water.
Restrooms = smoking rooms?
This is what my husband told me and probably it’s more common add to the men’s restroom but some people believe restrooms are where people are allowed to smoke. Of course it is not true but sometimes they just go to restroom to smoke and they flush the cigarette. Of course you can’t do that so sometimes it clogs the restroom. Often restrooms are very smelly because of cigarette and their dirty situation.
Go to restrooms whenever possible
I really hate this awful smell so I’ve never been one of the kids who loved zoo ever since I was a kid. When I came to China for the first time, I really had to think how to overcome this restroom issue.
Then I decided to use their 3M mask and go to restroom whenever you can go to restroom, not when you want to go to restroom. Not every restroom is awful but sometimes you might find a better one so you have to remember which is OK and acceptable. Usually shopping malls or hotels have a better ones so you can also check it out.
Don’t forget for preparation when you visit China
If you come to Beijing as a tourist, you might see something overwhelming. In order to deal with the situation, I suggest you to have three a mask and bottle of water. Wet wipes is also helpful.