The mystery of the toilet with just a hole is a perplexing one. One to which we can’t seem to get a straight answer. This phenomenon does concern the ladies much more than the men, but we feel strongly about covering the issue nevertheless. So imagine: you are all dressed up and excited to visit the Minsk opera theatre. You enjoy the first half, and come intermission time, you, naturally, visit the WC. You enter the restroom and everything looks normal, until you open the door of a toilet stall and find nothing but a hole in the ground. To make things even worse there is usually not even toilet paper hanging in the small cabin, so you have to go back and get the toilet paper that is usually located next to the sinks. Yes, like an old fashioned French camping toilet. The feeling of glamour and style disappears very fast once you are squatting on one of those hole toilets.
It may seem strange to a foreigner’s eyes, but here squat toilets are quite a common feature, so if you ever come across one – here is our users guide:
- Enter the squat toilet. Before actually squatting down look around for any toilet paper. If there’s none in the stall – go get some, it is usually located next to the sinks.
- Before putting your feet on the footrests make sure your wallet or mobile phone is safe… it won’t be fun trying to retrieve it.
- Now put your feet on the footrests, the two corrugated or ribbed parts on either side of the hole of the squat toilet. To avoid any splashing, face away from the hole (usually towards the door or entrance of the toilet).
- Pull down your pants but make sure they stay above your feet and don’t get wet. Roll up your pants or tuck them into your socks. These toilets are usually wet on the ground because people don’t aim too well.
- Get into the squat position and make sure your feet are FLAT on the ground. If you’re on your toes you’re very likely to tip forward or backward. Flat feet give you better balance and it’s much more relaxing on your thigh muscles if you are going to be in this position for a while. Spread your feet wider if you find yourself toppling.
- Go ahead and finish your business by aiming for the hole. Don’t look in the hole, as some drops can bounce back (don’t ask why we know this!!!). Don’t worry, practice makes perfect.
- Use the toilet paper and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Be grateful that squat toilets exist because they are much more hygienic than a western toilet! Enjoy the fact that there is no toilet seat you have to try and hover over or even sit on, given the condition of some of these toilets.
We have tried to uncover the mystery of these squat toilet…
Especially in places you least expect them, places like cinemas, theatre and the circus. Is it because of hygienic reasons, as you don’t have to sit on a hundred times-before-you-used-toilet-seat or does is have to do with the easy cleaning of a squat toilet? We haven’t figured it out yet. But maybe you can?