Pe@rson
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Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:09 am

I have travelled extensively in Asia (one year in India) and I recall there being many 'hole-in-the-ground' toilets (i.e. squat toilets), especially in the poorer areas. But while these are popular in less-developed countries, I was quite shocked to see them at the ultra-modern SIN, where they were present in one of the (excellent) spectator areas (I realise Singapore itself is still a less-developed country). Is there any particular reason for this?

[Edited 2004-01-05 00:12:32]
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
tokolosh
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:16 am

I have also travelled extensively in Asia and have had to deal with squat toilets as a Westerner. I imagine Singapore Changi is catering for transit passengers who use squat toilets. Just a thought: shouldn't airlines flying in the region, or to and from the region, have a few squat toilets in their aircraft?
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:29 am

Pearson:

These toilets are part of Asian culture and you would find them in other asian countries considered to be modern. They are commonly found in Japan, Thailand, Korea etc...

As for your comment "I realise Singapore itself is still a less-developed country", well, all I can say is that with that sort of attitude, you have my sympathies. Kinda hard to believe you travel a lot in Asia and still hold an old world view like that. In addition to squat toilets, we also have running water and 24 hr electrical supply to our homes. We even have schools. Most of us can even speak English (I speak the goodest English).
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:38 am

LOL. You totally misinterpreted what I said. It's a fact that Singapore is a less-developed country, as are all countries in the area. Have no doubt about that. But there is surely a hierarchy as to the level of development, for Singapore is certainly far more developed than other countries in the area.

"Kinda hard to believe you travel a lot in Asia and still hold an old world view like that."

It was an informed perception.

"In addition to squat toilets, we also have running water and 24 hr electrical supply to our homes. We even have schools."

You don't say!

I have never seen squat toilets at Colombo airport or Delhi airport, two countries in which such toilets are frequently seen. So one would presume, from this, that they would not be present at SIN.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:38 am

Yes, and if you are in doubt of your English, you can always train yourself with the Government's "Speak Good English" movement!

Online lessons can be found at http://www.goodenglish.org.sg/SGEM/home.php

Nevertheless, why is this aviation related?
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:40 am

"Nevertheless, why is this aviation related?"

Because toilets form a part of airports, which form a part of civil aviation. :-P
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:56 am

Its part of local culture. They come here and eat our food and use our western toilets, we go there and try their food and use their squat toilets; thats how the world works. "Different country, different people, different ways of doing things."


CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:01 am

Its part of local culture."

Yes, of course. But you missed my point: squat toilets are common in the poorer areas of countries and the poorer areas of cities, not in the richer areas. Accordingly, you would not see them in flash restaurants or expensive hotels. Yet they are present in airports, which are almost certainly going to be frequented by the richer people in society, simply because they can afford to fly. Get my point now? Just an observation.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:03 am

"Singapore is certainly far more developed than other countries in the area."

Is the most developed in the area.

Did you find squat toilets at SIN Airport?

I hate squat toilets. How disgusting. Much more risk of splashback. Eww. I had to use some in Vietnam. Disgusting. We were on the road between UIH and Hue in Central Vietnam. I couldn't excrete faecaes because I was so disusted so I had to hold it in until we got to our hotel in the evening at Hue. I went on a ritual fast on the journey.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
danialanwar
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:04 am

Squat toilets are not a sign of backwardness, just because you use something else in the UK. Many people in Asia use them, thus it's a great sign of being advanced by offering both types toilets tailored to customer demands. Sounds like LHR is less-developped, doesnt it ... Many people in Asia also use water to wash their private parts after going to the toilet - but i guess in more-developped countries not everybody sees the need to even wash their hands ...
Best Business Class: Royal Brunei. Best Economy: Singapore Airlines. First: please send money first!
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:05 am

Why are squat toilets indicative of a less developed country? They have been part of Asian culture since toilets have been around, so why change something which isn't broken?

I find things in other countries, which are considered part of the developed world, that seem backward to me. Examples include...

Tiny, cramped subway trains that break down half the time in London.
Power outages which can affect an entire state in the US.
Dog shit every 10 paces you take in Paris. Pets are even allowed in malls and other public buildings.

The list goes on.

How can you even begin to say that you hold an informed perception? Most assesment agencies like the WTEC classifies Singapore as a Newly Developed Country. I'd agree that is more accurate as a lot has been done in the last 20 years or so to improve infrastructure and trade facilities.

If you continue to hold the view that having or not having squat toilets is indicative of the level of development in a country, you really need to have your Anglo centric head flushed (in a squat toilet preferably). Sheesshhh...
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:08 am

LOL.

Singapore_Air: you dedication to your country is commendable.

Where did I once say I am personally bothered with squat toilets? I couldn't careless. I was surprised to see them in ultra-modern SIN, yes, but I didn't care about them. Indeed, I've stayed in plenty of places in India costing £1-£1.50 per night, which included a squat toilet - and a bucket of hot water - if I was lucky (normally cold water). Bothered by squat toilets? Nope.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:11 am

"If you continue to hold the view that having or not having squat toilets is indicative of the level of development in a country."

Which countries in the developed world have them in regular use?

As I said, I PERSONALLY AM NOT BOTHERED BY THEM BECAUSE I HAVE USED THEM INNUMERABLE TIMES. OK?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
bistro1200
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:17 am

A Thai friend of mine said that squat toilets developed from the lack of toilet paper in SE Asia, and this is confirmed by the cloth towels in Thai Airways' lavs. I never had the "pleasure" of using a squat toilet in Thailand, but apparently the local shortage of paper products is what made them useful.
Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
 
AnsettAW
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:17 am

Hang in there, Pe@rson. You should know by now that you must dissect every word before you post it and imagine all the ways it can be interpreted by every member on this forum. Any reasonable person would know that you were curious, not remotely ethnocentric.
Snap, Krackle, and Pop are thinly veiled emblems for the Trilateral Commission.
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:18 am

Pearson,

Sigh... I give up. Just because Singaporeans take a crap in squat toilets, you reduce them to cave dwellers from the Stone Age.

Which developed countries have squat toilets? If you consider Japan a developed country ( I hope you at least agree on that)... try this link...

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~AD8Y-HYS/movie.htm
 
777236ER
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:18 am

Which countries in the developed world have them in regular use?

Singapore?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:18 am

"I PERSONALLY AM NOT BOTHERED BY THEM BECAUSE I HAVE USED THEM INNUMERABLE TIMES. OK?"

Oh dear. I feel for anyone who's had to use such a thing. Again, disgusting.

The things don't flush themselves. You have to have a container full of water and pour it down the hole. God forbid if you slightly miss the hole and some of it flows onto the ceramic part you're standing on.

I'm sorry, but how backward. I'm tending to agree with Pe@rson. Go "normal" toilets I say. I'm sure Lee Hsien Loong (and the World Toilet Organisation) will agree with me.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
Spark
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:19 am

I can understand the resistance to squat toilets, they are a bit daunting to people unfamiliar. Try being a newly potty trained kid in 1974, and the only thing available is a squat toilet.

However the notion that Singapore is less developed in any means is absurd. Singapore is one of the most technically advanced cities in the world. I moved from Singapore to California in 1988, and development wise Singapore was at least the equal of San Francisco and Los Angeles 15 years ago (except we have better television in America). In fact Singapore was the pioneer in a cashless society (using ATM's).

I was surprised to hear that there were squat toilets at Changi, but judging from what I remember about Singapore, and Changi, I'm sure they were clean and much more hygenic than some other bathrooms I've been to at the states.
 
danialanwar
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:19 am

Which countries in the developed world have them in regular use?
Singapore, Japan, South Korea, ...

Nobody takes issue with your views of toilets, but people do take issue that you think because the toilet looks different therefore that country is backward
Best Business Class: Royal Brunei. Best Economy: Singapore Airlines. First: please send money first!
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:22 am

LOL... Lyzzzzzzard... "Just because Singaporeans take a crap in squat toilets, you reduce them to cave dwellers from the Stone Age." Where did I say that? I didn't. You interpreted what I said to mean that, but it was not.

I was just curious why Singapore airport, that ultra-modern establishment, would have squat toilets which are not normally a feature in the richer areas of cities, and the hotels and restaurants contained therein. That's all.

Can we relax now?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:24 am

Pearson,

Another link to dispel your myth of the absence of squat toilets in India...

http://www.cariboo.bc.ca/news/past03Nov3/Digests03Nov3/Alana%20digest%202/Bring%20your%20Immodium2.htm
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:25 am

Did you use Terminal One or Two?

I'd be interested to try out one of these. How did you flush it?
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:26 am

"Another link to dispel your myth of the absence of squat toilets in India..."

Did you actually read what I said? "I have never seen squat toilets at Colombo airport or Delhi airport, two countries (Sri Lanka and India) in which such toilets are frequently seen."
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:27 am

"Did you use Terminal One or Two?"

The non-SQ terminal. Superb it was too. Can't wait until I'm back there.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:29 am

And to further dispel the notion that squat toilets are only found in "poorer" areas, I'd be back later with photos of the squat toilets from several landmark buildings here in Singapore.

Got to go now (Got to go to work but not before I use my squat toilet in my home which is located in the slums of Singapore).

 
danialanwar
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:29 am

Breaking News: squat toilets at Changi flush at the press of a button (or have they gone to auto-flush like the sit-ons as well already?) No need to use a bucket of water
Best Business Class: Royal Brunei. Best Economy: Singapore Airlines. First: please send money first!
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:31 am

lol. ha ha.  Wink/being sarcastic As I said, I personally don't care about them, because I've used them plenty of times before. Shall we cool it and discuss something more exciting, like... beer?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
AnsettAW
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:32 am

They're not relaxing. Looks like the hot discussion topic this hour is
squat toilets.  Nuts
Snap, Krackle, and Pop are thinly veiled emblems for the Trilateral Commission.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:36 am

Nice to know that Singapore has kept it's hygienic raison d'être with the push-to-flush! Hoorah! Some grace has been saved. I do understand that certain people are more used to squat toilets - the premier air hub that Singapore is - so the prescence of such push-to-flush / autoflush toilets are acceptable in my view. Still, eww.

Pe@rson, nice though T1 may be. For shame for not flying Singapore Airlines Limited!


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:40 am

This link is hilarious!

They just take a little getting used too. The most important thing is not to fall in. This seems self evident, but when the floor is slippery it is easy to do.

A tissueless existence

Once you have mastered the squat toilet, you may want to try to give up of using toilet paper.

If you do feel adventurous, here are some basic tips. You'll need about a litre of water. All Indian bathrooms have a little mug and a tap or a bucket of water. When you have finished, reach behind you and between your legs with your LEFT hand and, holding the full mug of water in your RIGHT hand, pour the water slowly into your left hand. You can pour from the front or the back - which ever feels most comfortable. Use the water in your cupped left hand to wash yourself. Repeat as many times as necessary. Air dry. When you are done, wash your hands well with soap.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:51 am

I´ve seen and used squat toilets in restaurants in France, Italy and Spain as well as in the Philippines.
About the installation of said toilets on aircraft I think there´ll be two problems:
1) The installation of the necessary valves and plumbing, which is usualy covered by the toilet shroud around the bowl.
2) The squatting position is much more instable than a sitting one. Imagine the plane flies through a gust of turbulence while you are minding your business, you might end up sitting where you wouldn´t like to be...

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:00 am

Looks like ours is not the only thread on the net discussing the squat toilet. Here's a forum offering stiff british expats in Asia advice on how to deal with the menace of using a squat toilet.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=92907

[Edited 2004-01-05 02:13:16]
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:07 am

If I was a stiff Brit, as you are suggesting, why would I, when I'm backpacking, stay in some of the cheapest - and thus worst - accommodations, where a squat toilet would be deemed luxury and a cold or mildly warm bucket of water standard? I am certainly not sniff. Anything but, in fact. Tight-fisted, perhaps, but then I'm a poor student. I do not - for the 55th time - have a problem with squat toilets and using them, and they are certainly not menacing. OK?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
lyzzard
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:12 am

And where exactly in my post does it refer to you as a stiff brit? I was referring to some of the people who were in the post from the link I posted who found the use of such toilets disgusting. Go read for yourself.

 
FoxBravo
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:14 am

I would like to point out that some people--even in modern, developed countries--prefer squat toilets over sitting ones, especially in public restrooms. The technologically advanced Shinkansen "bullet trains" in Japan feature three types of restrooms: "Western" (what most of us are used to), "Asian" (with squat toilet), and "Men" (with a urinal and a non-locking door with glass panel, presumably to discourage loitering). On the train, I remember once seeing a young, fashionably dressed Japanese woman walk into the Asian-style restroom, even though the Western one was vacant. Puzzled, I later asked a Japanese friend why that might be, and was told that, although most people prefer to have a sitting toilet in the comfort of their own homes, many would rather not have their derriere come into contact with a dirty toilet seat. So, given that they would end up squatting over a sitting toilet anyway, it makes sense just to get rid of the whole apparatus--even in modern places such as airports, department stores, and the Shinkansen.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:19 am

"And where exactly in my post does it refer to you as a stiff brit?"

Your "Anglo centric head" comment implied it.

Anyway, as eyeopening as this discussing was, I've got to climb into my pit, as it's 0120 here.

Good night all, and no hard feelings, I hope.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
mog
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:44 am

Yes, squat toilets are available at Indian airports, too. For that matter, the better hotels have rooms put aside for guests who ask for them, with attatched bathrooms that have squat toilets, too. No big deal, full flush etc. etc. Apart from reducing the risk of AIDS by contact, they are also better for those with piles.

One day, soon, you may see a modified version on aircraft, too?

 
ammunition
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:06 am

Saint Augustine- 'The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only 1 page'
 
Espion007
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:13 am

I grew up in russia,and live the USA,so Im used to western-style toilets.im not here to argue anything or discuss how modernized singapore is,all I want to know is,on a squat toilet,just how do u make sure you dont get sh*t on your pants?
Snakes on a Plane!
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:16 am

Man. Some of you guys don't know squat. (insert smily face here)
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:19 am

Espion,

Ever gone camping the rough way? Been out in the forest behind a bush with a shovel and using a self-dug hole? This isd exactly the same way you use a squat toilet...

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
aviasian
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:28 pm

Pe@rson: Singapore's society include the folks whose roots originated in China, India, the Malay Peninsula . . . folks in their sunset years for whom the squat toilet was familiar. These are folks who have contributed immensely to the development of Singapore in the 1960s to the 1980s, and it is only fair that the management of national infrastructure such as airports take into consideration their needs - hence the provision of squat toilet.

It is inevitable that the squat toilet will disappear in time to come.

Whether a country is less or more developed than another depends largely on the yardstick you use. Perhaps you did not consider simple things such as drinkable water from every tap in the country, perhaps you have not considered that the same old folks in their 80s are travelling on the subway using contactless stored value card, perhaps you have not considered that e-banking, e-filing of income tax returns and many other functions that require you to go to an office of some establishment is done online in Singapore (yes, even by old folks who took a dump over a squat toilet.

Travel often is the most effective path to an enlightened and learned mind . . . I see that there are lapses in such a notion. Your EXTENSIVE travel through Asia has not given you an insight into the social and ethnic fabric of this fascinating continent . . . did you only see 20 or 30-year-olds in Singapore?

KC Sim
Bangkok
 
airjampanam
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:41 pm

This is a crap topic Pe@rson!!!
Who knew this could be the burning topic of the day!
LOL
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
gamps
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:12 pm

Actually I also am surprised at times seeing this in SIN - which I mentioned in my trip reports some time back  Smile.

Singapore_Air: It is in SQ terminal too. Right near the Starbucks - if you are facing the entrance to immigration counter, the restrooms are left of you;there is also a Starbucks near that.

Anyway, my brother - a General Medicine MD says that there are studies which show that squatting is the very healthy way of "downloading". Also apparently very friendly to the organs/body parts involved.

And pe@rson: Singapore if officially classified as a "developed" country - based on per capita/GDP etc.

Cheers
 
kilavoud
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Pe@rson

"Squat toilets" are more practical for someone having the intention to clean his or her backside with water (paper can be used afterwards for drying). In fact there is a little shower in these toilets for this purpose. Indians and many other people prefer to use water, that is in fact more effective for cleaning than using only paper.

Giving the possibility to people to act according to their own culture and their personal hygiene is not the sign of a "less-developed country". Changi is a very nice airport reflecting the generosity and the high level of Singapore.

Cheers. Kilavoud.
 
chgoflyer
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:05 pm

Dont you find when you pee in a squat toilet .. that you tend to hit you shoes?
Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
 
COSPN
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:24 pm

NRT Japan has both western and Squatters... Smile To each is own ..I've used western Jons at SIN before..just look around..DO any Aircrafts have Squatters ??
 
SQ772
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:43 pm

Interesting thread in an aviation related forum. Squat toilets are actually more hygienic as the body does not come into contact with parts of the toilet that is shared by millions of other people performing their daily crap routine. I personally prefer the sit-down toilets though...

As for why Changi has squat toilets while DEL and CMB don't....how can you even begin to compare Changi with those other airports? Changi is an international aviation hub that caters to millions of passengers from all corners of the world every year. It prides itself in offering all the necessary facilities that will make transit passengers of any origin feel right at home. As an internationla airport in a developed nation, we offer our visitors a choice of international cuisines and facilities under one roof, and this includes a choice of sit down and squat toilet facilities.

Offering squat toilets isn't a reflection of our backwardness, but a sign of an enlightened understanding that not everyone in the world is comfortable with sit-down toilets. There's nothign wrong with wanting to cater to the whims and fancies of the well-heeled international traveller. At changi, we aim to please.  Big grin

So, Pearson, the next time you wonder why there are squat toilets in developed countries such as Singapore, it's because we are international in outlook. Hope this clarifies.

There's always a better way to fly...
 
airmale
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RE: Squat Toilets @ SIN

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:06 pm

Pe@rson you better not travel to Iran ever, squats are all they have every where you go.
.....up there with the best!

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