One of the major concerns I had before the VIPKid Field Trip was the restroom situation. First, in case you haven’t heard, the majority of the toilets in China are what we lovingly deemed “squatty potties”. In actuality, they are more like urinal type holes in the ground. Some can be quite fancy, but most are just a basic hole in the ground. I visited one restroom that had TV monitors in the doors for you to watch as you squat.
I was seriously worried about this! I am a country girl, so I can squat if necessary. However, my knees are really getting to the point that they don’t believe that is necessary. This became even more of an issue after we were walking miles each day and my feet, legs, hips, and everything else was worn out.
That being said, in most places there were at least a few “normal” Western-style toilets. These are usually reserved for the disabled (or us Americans who can’t squat). Obviously, there was often a wait for these special thrones especially since we were traveling with a larger group of mostly women. There was only one tourist area that I don’t remember finding a “regular” toilet, and that was at the Olympic Park (ironically, the one with the TV in the door). That may have just been because I was pretty desperate and didn’t look very hard before I decided to just bite the bullet and squat.
In the end, this really wasn’t as big of a deal as I expected it to be. I did end up squatting rather than waiting in line a few times, but there were also a few days when my legs were super tired that it wasn’t going to happen even if I wanted to.
- Practice squatting and build your muscles before your trip.
- Go to the restroom at “off” times, not when the whole group is going to be waiting in line.
- The “regular” toilets may be labeled handicapped.
- Our tour guide did a great job of letting us know what to expect (she even showed us the proper way to squat….Cactus if you read this, you’re welcome, I’m not posting the picture!)