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10 International Toilets


8
Bidets -- Water, Water Everywhere
Bidets may sit next to toilets, or the functionality can be built into the toilet itself.
Bidets may sit next to toilets, or the functionality can be built into the toilet itself.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Don't be startled by water faucets appearing in unusual places while abroad -- many International toilets have bidets units built into the otherwise humble commode. From Europe to the Middle East, many countries favor bidet toilets due to cleanliness values and scarcity of disposable paper products. It's important not to use toilet paper if none is offered -- plumbing and waste management are handled differently across the globe, and you don't want to back up a sewer or irritate the locals. The three bidet toilets you're most likely to encounter are these:

  • Standard bidet toilet -- Like modern, Western toilets, and found from Europe to Japan in urban areas. They feature a little nozzle or button literally right behind you, built into the bowl, requiring you to just lean forward. Flush as usual.
  • Shower/toilet combos -- In many Eastern parts of the world, this is a smart way for folks to save water -- the water nozzle (a shower head or hose) will be built into the wall above the actual toilet, which is often a squatter. Just aim for the drain-like hole in the floor and don't get fancy.
  • Spigot and bucket -- Found mostly in rural and under-developed areas from Egypt to Taiwan, these work similarly to shower/toilet combos, but sans hose. Instead, you get a red bucket to be filled from a spigot and then poured over your unmentionables .

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