Thursday 15 July 2010

Spend a Penny? No Thanks

I've delayed publishing this post until I think most readers will have had breakfast.

Sometimes I shake my head in despair at our modern society and this is one reason why.

It's a well known fact that a simple solution to world health issues is toilets. I remember visiting Paris when I was young, only to have to squat behind a screen to relieve myself. It's an experience I'll never forget because I stood the wrong way round and soaked my feet. Since then, on the odd occasion during my travels, I've come across 'holes in the ground' and have clutched my trouser legs or skirt firmly in my hands as there's no way squatting is comfortable.

Thanks to the efforts of British pioneers we have the best designed toilets in the world - not only from a comfort aspect but more importantly a hygiene one. Squat toilets are favoured over flush toilets in many parts of Asia as they don't require expensive modern plumbing systems but I certainly regard them as far less hygienic and they have no place in our culture.

Proponents of the above squat toilet, also known as a Turkish toilet or Nile pan, claim there are health benefits to squatting rather than sitting and perhaps that's why the newly upgraded toilets in Rochdale's shopping centre will have a squat toilet in both the ladies and gents. Canterbury Prison recently installed one for foreign inmates as part of a £17,000 upgrade.

The excuse given by the centre managers, who recently attended a cultural training course, is that one in ten of Rochdale's population is Pakastani or Bangladeshi and the managers have been told some members of the local Asian community prefer them for cultural reasons.

Another step backwards for this country. Why has Rochdale planning authority permitted the introduction of these facilities in an area open to the public? Surely if there are those living in country who prefer this style of toilet then, out of respect to the majority, they should install them in the privacy of their own homes. Thank goodness I'm of the age when I can get free incontinence pads which I'm sure would be much more preferable than sliding around in another's effluent, clutching my clothing and handbag, and perhaps a carrier bag or two of shopping.


JuliaM said...

Oh, FFS...! Surely, good sanitation is what these people came to the UK for..?

subrosa said...

Doesn't appear so Julia. They'd rather their inferior system was introduced here and they've achieved that.

This is a worrying development for me.

Witterings from Witney said...

Oh dear SR - another bit of British culture 'down the pan'!

Apols, could not resist - however on a more serious note, this is just the continuing erosion of the culture of our country to appease the minority - and I for one have had enough of appeasement!

Clarinda said...

"Slip sliding away, slip sliding away,
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away."

Can't think why these lyrics came to mind - but I couldn't resist the wv - oustinpo (I kid you not)

Sandy said...

Thing is, some people insist on squatting even when using a regular toilet.

Damage to the seat and even risking toppling the entire "throne" ensues.

In this culture of blame and litigation, failure to provide a suitable squat toilet could be seen as negligence.

Oldrightie said...

I well remember a colleague relating a "squatting" incident in an aeroplane loo. It became unuseable for the remaining three hours of the trip!!

Apogee said...

Hi SR. I can say that I agree with your article and all the comments so far.Sandy makes a valid point.
But then something comes to mind, and its this. The local council has closed, as far as I can tell, all the public toilets in the area, on grounds of saving money, after getting a black hole in their finances of, I believe, nine million
quid,again, if I was informed correctly, due to management and financial stupidity in the main, and not sticking to EU agreements.
We are now at the mercy of agreements with Tesco and Asda for the use of their toilets, I assume the surrounding villages are relying on the good graces of the local pubs.
At least Rochdale Has somewhere to squat!

Harry said...

It's done to appease our soon to be overseers.

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

Ah yes Rochdale SR. I hear they are going to install a large, anonymous, sand filled pit soon. I believe a Saudi supplier of Mecca "cakes" will be contracted to supply missiles on a regular basis.

UKplc all gone, and designedly so by our so called reps. They kept telling us for 60 years after 1945 that we were rubbish, that what we believed was rubbish, that we had nothing to offer the world and were rubbish.

Great departments of academia and think tanks all fronting for thieves.

The whole con run by those jealous of what we had and determined to have it.

We are headed back in time as you say.

Europeans as slaves.

Dave H said...

I'd actually be be quite relaxed if they changed the local loos to this.

As a male I just pee all over the floor anyway.

RMcGeddon said...

I wonder if they will follow the tradition in the middle east where they have a hose pipe to clean your bits rather than toilet paper. The walls used to be covered in sprayed faeces and stunk to high heaven. We used to always make sure we were near a 'Western hotel' when going downtown.
Even worse in these toilets just before prayer time. But I won't go there.....erk

Dramfineday said...

Mmmmm......remind me again, when in Rome do as the Romans do, was that it? Well the barbarians here fit variants of Mr John Harington's goodly invention. So get used it babes.

Now anent Sandy's very good point we could add a public user notice (various languages for visitors) and an excellent American variation the toilet seat sanitary cover.

Let's face it, with a few decent exceptions, public provision in the UK is the pits when it comes to public loo's and their hygiene and maintenance.

I'm recently back from Northern Italy and was really surprised to find how many places, including modern or modernised places, have the Turkish bog. However, in the words not used in the good old Scottish song "A Gordon for me", A Harington for me (preferred) thank you, but then I'm a native and ergo uncouth in todays PC society.

subrosa said...

Clarinda, you've reminded me of an event in a mountain top village in Italy when I was in dire straights with the handbag dropping it's hold between my teeth. I shan't expand further. ;)

subrosa said...

Sandy, I would have thought that people who refuse to use a toilet as it is designed would have no reason for litigation.

Does this mean because someone is right handed and a door doesn't open to the right that they can sue?

It's all becoming too silly for words.

subrosa said...

Are the words knees and jammed included OR?

subrosa said...

The closure of local toilet facilities must have had an impact on public health Apogee, but nobody cares to mention that. I know my father, when he was suffering from prostate cancer but still able to get out and about, stopped his wee walk of an evening because the local toilets closed. He reckoned he could reach them without accident but knew he couldn't manage further.

subrosa said...

You're not the first to say that Harry.

subrosa said...

We are going backwards Incoming and it's rather frightening.

subrosa said...

Thank you for your honesty Dave. :)

subrosa said...

Oh RMcGeddon, I learn something every day. Some things I'd rather not of course. :)

subrosa said...

Our public toilet facilities were fine for years Dram, then councils saw a way of saving money by closing a front-line service. We didn't protest enough then, possibly because many didn't use the toilets and kids were allowed to vandalise them. Gone are the days when public services brought benefits.

Of course, we've now extended the risk to public health with so many councils operating two-weekly rubbish collections.

Joe Public said...

Sandy @ 11:34

"In this culture of blame and litigation, failure to provide a suitable squat toilet could be seen as negligence."

Why? Western-style toilets are provided - if they're mis-used, then it is not the council's fault.

Surely, it is squat-type toilets which contravene Health & Safety Regulations?

A hole in the ground - someone could trip over, or, sprain their ankle, & rightly sue the council.

banned said...

Where was the evidence that X-third world Rotheramites were demanding such facilities?

Your post says that they were introduced following staff 'cultural training', so once again it is white, liberal guilt mongering apologists presuming to speak on behalf of their migrant 'clients' who have done this and I expect that many Moslems and others will be deeply embarrassed and annoyed at the implications.

Btw, your pictured example is a luxury version. I have visited various parts of eastern Europe where the hole of choice is literally that, a hole in a plank, sometimes more then one, usually in a damp shed.

Dramfineday said...

I'm not sure of the quote but I seem to recall a statement something like, civilisation can be measure by the distance it puts between itself and its (odure).

If that's the case then we fail miserably from a public toilet provision.

Perhaps in the interest of our visitors ( and locals ) we should hand public toilet provision and maintenance over to the tourist board..... KPI = clean, temperate, sanitary bogs open 24/7 in season and 12/7 outwith... OK, it's dreamland again from Dram.

PS if you happen to be a hill stravager, the public toilets at Dalwhinne (village hall) are a credit to the village....after that, if you are heading west, it's hotels or the forest until you reach Ft William.

subrosa said...

Banned, of course it's the luxury version! Surely you realise anything less would upset my readers' stomachs at any time of day? :)

Yes, I've been in these places too. Have to say, at least the planks lift your feet out of the mire by an inch or two if you're lucky.

subrosa said...

The tourist board Dram? Auch well, maybe they would be good managing public toilets. They're fairly poor at promoting Scotland.

I haven't had the pleasure of the toilets at Dalwhinnie as I usually nip into the hotel. Will try them next time. I expect there's usually a queue in summer in the same way there's a queue at the House of Bruar. Miles of nothing between the west and yourself if you're travelling by coach.

Indyanhat said...

What has happened to the great British Compromise eh!, world famed for it once we have now fallen into a state of simple cpaitulation to the demands of the minorities!
Why could they not have just built a simple platform either side of the bowl for 'squatters' to use the existing facilities!!!

RMcGeddon said...

There's not much chance of sitting reading my newspaper ( or the younger bloggers iPads ) in that toilet.
And where will I put my walking stick ? From previous experiences of these type of 'toilets' the floors and walls will be covered in finely sprayed jobbies.

subrosa said...

Oh Indyan, the mind boggles. Tesco's toilets full of wimmin missing the step. :)

subrosa said...

Hey RMcGeddon, it's not only the young who have iPads you know! What is it with men having the need to read in the toilet?

Your description seems about right. Where Elfin Safety when we need them?

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rosie, these types of toilets have been commonplace for years in Airports down south like Birmingham or Manchester.

I remember being in Athens airport and being caught short, I managed to find the one toilet out of six that had a roll of bog paper. As you probably know, it's the custom in Greece to put your used toilet paper in a bin rather than down the shunky. Which got me thinking as I sat there, what would happen if you were really caught short and you did the business in a toilet without clean paper, which you only discovered when it was too late. Would you trawl through the bin of used toilet paper looking for a bit that was reasonably clean?

subrosa said...

Jings DL, I've never seen them there. Mind you it's quite a few years since I flew out of Birmingham but not so long ago used Manchester.

As to your question. The answer is simple. That's why women carry tissues.

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