As Seinfeld's George Costanza would happily tell you, public toilets are not all the same. This is especially true when travelling abroad — everything from toilet architecture to expected bathroom etiquette can be vastly different depending on what country you're in. This infographic breaks down everything you need to know for intercontinental potty breaks.
Photo: Sony Pictures
The infographic below comes from plumbing manufacturer Sloan. It includes historical facts about public bathrooms, the different ways toilets function and the important rules to follow. For example, in Mexico, you are expected to tip the toilet paper attendant, while in Taiwan you can use toilets for free — but only if you bring your own toilet paper.
In addition to exhibiting different etiquette and paying arrangements, public toilets in other countries can also look completely different. As Sloan explains in its accompanying blog post:
"All across Asia you’ll find “squat toilets,” which are porcelain receptacles built into the floor to be squatted over. On the other end of the spectrum, both Japan and Germany have toilets with some very exotic features. Electric Japanese toilets have white noise systems built into them and many Germans are using a contraption called a “washout toilet,” which has a platform built inside the bowl to allow users to inspect deposits before they flush."
If you're planning a trip abroad anytime soon, it pays to have the drop on bathroom rules and regulations. Also, be thankful that we live in a country where public toilets are free, provide plenty of privacy and are reasonably clean.