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Squat or not?
Tehran (Iran), July 9th 2007
Everyone travelling to France twenty years ago, stopped just before crossing the French border to visit the toilet. In this way, a visit to the notorious French toilet (squat toilet) was postponed. French toilets were disreputable because of its dirtiness and the squat pose which was uncomfortable for the spoiled users of a western toilet. In many countries like Iran the squat toilet is still most common. Is preference given to the western throne with toilet paper, or is the hole in the ground connected to sewerage preferred? In this case, the squat option includes a water tap with hose or jar to clean the buttocks with the left hand.

A western toilet has one major disadvantage, its toilet seat. This problem would not exit if everyone used it the way it was meant to be, namely to sit on it. Unfortunately, people hang above the seat while dripping on it. Moreover, the majority of the male population prefers to urinate standing (with variable aiming success) after which the seat has to be put down again by hand. The limited supply of toilet paper is another problem. Everyone dependent on toilet paper knows how troublesome it can be to run out of it. Every time it happens, its bad timing! This problem doesn’t exist on the typical Iranian toilet. There is just no toilet paper but a water tap and a hose or a jar with an endless supply of water. You can clean yourself as much as you like. However, Iranian toilets have its downsides.

Let’s start at the beginning. When entering the toilet, its floor is already wet because your predecessor tried to clean everything after emptying his bladder or bowel. However, you must imagine that a truly spotless toilet is a rarity. The traces of your predecessor are usually clearly perceptible. Therefore it is important to roll up your trousers legs to prevent it from getting dirty. While squatting over the toilet you try to aim to get your droppings in the hole. Unfortunately, you come across quit some toilets on which one of your predecessors didn’t succeeded. When you yourself have a difficult delivery, the squat pose can be tiresome which doesn’t help you aiming abilities. Therefore, when you look behind afterwards you hope not to find anything on the edge of the toilet.

When you got rid of all your defecation, the hard part comes. You should use your left hand for the really dirty tasks while reserving the right hand for the “cleaner” jobs. You start with taking the hose in your still clean left hand as you turn on the water tap with your right hand. Whilst keeping your squat pose you take the hose over from you left hand into your right hand. Then you intent to aim the spurt of water at your unclean body parts while washing it with you left hand. Although this already feels strange for a beginner, the real difficulty is to get out of the toilet as hygienic as possible. So at this moment your bottom is wet and clean and you “flushed” the toilet as good as you can with the hose. Then you use the hose to rinse your left hand. However, because there is no soap this left hand doesn’t feel too clean. Therefore, you would like to close the water tap with your right hand without handing the hose over to the left hand. That doesn’t work without getting the toilet and yourself completely wet! So you lay the hose on the back of your left hand and while you hope tat the hose won’t fall off, you close the water tap with your right hand.

After the water tap is closed you have to pull up your underwear with your right hand (clean hand). Your underwear will be wet for a while because of the water you used to clean your bottom. To knot your trousers you have to use your left hand. This is the same hand you used some seconds ago to wash your bottom! It is not possible to pull up your trousers and knot it with just one hand, especially not after the washing efforts you just did.

Before leaving the toilet you once more look backwards to see if you cleaned all evidence. If necessary, you have to use the hose again to clean the toilet. After you left the toilet stumble across the things you need most at this time, water and soap.

Squat or not? Not for us!

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