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A Canadian In Beijing: Piddly-Squat
In 2001, Lyndell and I spent five days in Hong Kong on a stopover from Sydney to Toronto. That was my first introduction to the "squat-and-pee" style latrines in Asian countries. I didn't mind them then and I don't mind them now.
My knees mind them.
I'm hoping that after three months of this activity, I will no longer hear the crunch of my cartilage against bone as I squat to relieve my jasmine-tea-filled bladder.
I must say that they take some getting used to, however. Remembering to bring your own toilet paper is a must and no paper is deposited into the holes but instead is placed in the uncovered wastebasket provided. Sometimes this can be a smelly collection and I've found that holding one's breath is the best solution. All in all, I'm then working my squats AND my lungs. Surely that's exercise!
Now if Beijing would only start a humanure project! With this massive population, I'm sure the city's many coal-driven energy systems could be replaced by the methane, combustion or fertilization possible via human waste.
But, I won't hold my breath for that one!