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10 International Toilets


10
The Porcelain Throne -- Like Apple Pie and Baseball
A standard-issue American toilet, freshly cleaned and disinfected, complete with a fresh roll of toilet paper.
A standard-issue American toilet, freshly cleaned and disinfected, complete with a fresh roll of toilet paper.
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Despite being a country known for bravado and volume, Americans are pretty persnickety about their potties. Despite a bewildering array of nicknames for their toilets, Americans tend to expect just one image when they enter a bathroom on that primal errand, the call of nature: a white, porcelain commode about 16 inches (40.6 centimeters) off the ground, complete with rim, seat and easily located flusher, accompanied by a nice fresh roll of fluffy toilet paper.

Indoor plumbing and the basic commode have been in style throughout most of the Western world since Thomas Crapper helped popularize the water closet in the late 1800s. Perhaps that's why even a rural outhouse in the United States tends to have a raised seat and a handy magazine or two. Also, portable toilets, always popular at construction and other work sites, may be chemical toilets and contain odors that should not be described in polite company, but they're still pretty familiar to the Western eye.

Hygienically, however, some travelers object to placing their bare behinds on an unknown (however shiny and porcelain) rim or seat. The bowl is filled with water (though Americans are decreasing water consumption with increased use of the more "green" dual-flush commodes) until the flush, so splash-back can and will happen from time to time.


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