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Sunny2's avatar

What's the worst toilet situation you've ever faced while traveling?

Asked by Sunny2 (18842points) July 24th, 2012

This was inspired by the question about public toilets. Different places in the world provide a variety of toilet experiences, some seem outrageous and funny. Want to share?

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21 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

Not traveling, but at a softball field with my 3 year old daughter vs. a PortaPotty.

I wanted her to wait until I could get her to the convenience store, but she couldn’t, then wanted her to squat because it looked nasty but she couldn’t, so I held her armpits while my friend held her feet over the seat.

Unfortunately, her pee didn’t go downward, into the seat, like we expected it to, but went horizontally straight onto my pants. I danced around trying to avoid the stream but that made her laugh, which made her wiggle, so you can imagine the scenario.

What did I do? I ended up laughing and we just went home. Watching a Friday night softball game wasn’t that big of a deal with pee all over my pants!!

ucme's avatar

On a school trip to some remote farm, the girls were allowed to use the bathroom in the farmhouse whilst us lads had to, well….......piss up a wall!!
Sexist bastard farmers ;¬}

Coloma's avatar

Squating over chinese toilet basins in the floor on a moving train. Of course with giant bottles of Taiwanese beer for the american equivalent of .75 cents…made the peeing on ones shoes and clothes more bearable. lol
Traveling in asia became a game of ” Who can find an american toilet.”
This fast became the name of the game when entering any dining establishment, sometimes there would be one lone american toilet at the very end of the stalls of basins, one of my traveling pals or I were quick to report this great find to the others upon discovery.

No wonder everyone takes off their shoes when entering their homes, I ended up throwing away a pair of boots that were tainted by my travels. haha

Fly's avatar

Gas station bathrooms…need I say more?

josie's avatar

Boeing 767 trans Atlantic to Rome- one operational head

28lorelei's avatar

Once I was staying in the middle of the woods with relatives, and we lost power. There were no generators available either, and since the running water had to be heated by electricity (in order to avoid freezing), we avoided using the toilet inside. Instead, we would go out into the woods, far enough away from the house, and, well, go to the bathroom there. Do keep in mind that this was Finland at christmastime, so it was cold and dark. Although the winter itself was mild- not much snow, and maybe -5 Celsius (this is southern finland, in northern finland it would have been much colder), it was still really dark, with only a couple of hours of light per day.
@Coloma ditto for chinese toilets. At least Japanese ones are kept amazingly clean (at least in Kyoto and Nagasaki). Do they have those in Korea too?

mazingerz88's avatar

( NOT for the squeamish! )

This incident forced me to form a new habit. That of having Lomotil pills in my wallet all the time for 17 years now. This happened in Asia, in a bus ride to the city along a highway of searing heat one summer’s day. There was air-conditioning but the bus was not equipped with a toilet.

I was pleasantly conversing with a friend when my stomach and anal muscles suddenly butted in in unison and rudely signaled I got to go do number two. Now. In the bus. GO. NOW. Oh crap. I stood up sweating then clumsily made my way to the driver while my friend watched, dumbfounded and clueless. I did not have the time to even say anything to him. I was already spurting small bits!

The driver left me on the side of the road in the scorching sun, body mildly trembling as I struggle to keep the dam from bursting. Walked up a hill hoping to find some trees but instead saw a row of shanties behind a broken down brick wall. I knocked on a rusty dilapidated corrugated tin door of a shanty even though I knew right away they would not have a toilet.

A mother with barely clothed four young kids confirmed that. She pointed me to a hole at the back of the house. I went and in the company of buzzing flies, just let it all go. My handkerchief came in handy. Went back to the highway and hitched a ride. I did not shake hands.

Kardamom's avatar

Going to someone’s home and having the toilet plug up after a number 2 is just about the worst. But also going to someone’s home (usually a guy friend) and having to deal with feminine protection products and realizing that they do not have one of those little trash cans in their bathroom. Oh the horror!

I also have a fear of porta potties. I’m afraid I’m going to fall into the pit of poo and so I always look to see where I am, but the sight of the contents of the pit, tends to make me throw up, not a good combo.

janbb's avatar

Salmonella poisoning on a small Greek ferry boat with an Arab toilet in choppy seas.

bookish1's avatar

Tangentially related, but my first night of my first (adult) visit to India, I saw a man pissing on a wall on which was painted, “DO NOT URINATE ON THIS WALL.” It was simply unforgettable!

Also yeah, I’ve shat in holes in the ground in India. Some covered with porcelain and equipped with plumbing, some not.

And recently, in Paris, I went to the bathroom in a bar and found that they had a friggin hole in the ground toilet too! What country am I in again?? I was so confused. I was informed that they are known as “toilettes turques” here O_o

And finally, talk about first world problems, but on the day of Gay Pride in Paris last month I was pretty laden down with beer, and bought an expensive soda at a cafe just so I could use their bathroom. (There are public coin operated toilets on the streets here but I have horror of them.) Ok, this soda cost about $5, so I figured I deserved to use their damn toilet. But when I went downstairs in this fancy café on the Boulevard St. Germain, it turned out their bathrooms were also coin operated! WTF. But I gamed the system with some other people who had come in from Pride by holding the doors open for each other :D

Coloma's avatar

@28lorelei Yes, and did you notice the chinese warnings for the american toilets?
A person squating with a red line through them. lol
No squating over american toilet.

SIT don’t squat! haha

Coloma's avatar


OMG! Me too…I hate porta potties. I always think of dying in one on a 100 degree day somewhere. The worst horror imaginable. lol
I had a couple set up for a big party a few years ago and it was a great mockery to not have to use them like my guests. hehe evil laugh

Kardamom's avatar

@Coloma And there’s always pee and toilet paper all over the floors of those porta pots, and they’re dark inside, and I don’t see as well as I used to. I also have an irrational fear of the door lock not working and having some random stranger, most likely a man, throw the door open wide while I’m doing my business.

It harkens back to Kindergarden. I never had any particular toilet anxiety until one day, when I was in Kindergarden and using the toilet (they didn’t allow locks, because I guess they thought the kiddies would lock themselves in accidentally, although I don’t know why they couldn’t just give the teacher a key!!!). Anyway, I was tinkling away and a boy did open the door exposing me to the whole class. He didn’t do it on purpose, but from that day forward I never again used the toilet in my Kindergarden class. My mother thought I was sick because I would always run into the house right after school and let loose with a fearsome stream. Later, I overheard her talking to my teacher and they suspected that I didn’t know how to use the toilet at school (As if!!!, I mean come on people) so they both told me that I should just go ahead and use the bathroom at school. I never did again, until 1st grade, when they had regular restrooms with stalls and locks and the boys didn’t use the same facility. But it traumatized me at the time.

I also have a fear of not being able to use the bathroom on a plane, because it’s occupied. When I gotta go, I gotta go and if a toilet is not available I tend to go into a panic mode.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom I’d rather go in the bushes than a porta potty. haha

Kardamom's avatar

@Coloma ‘cept if you go in the bushes you gotta do that weird thing where you kind of stretch your underwear out of the way, then hope that you pee doesn’t run all onto your shoes. I only had to do that on one occasion, when my best friend’s family, in 6th grade, invited me to go camping with them to the Colorado River. I had no idea that there would be no toilets.

Sunny2's avatar

In Greece near Delphi on my motor scooter trip. We had just eaten eggs cooked in and served with a lot of olive oil. It ran right through me. The toilet was in a cube of a building with a door-shaped opening cut into it. It had no door and faced the highway curving downhill in front of the building. I went in and found it had just a hole in the dirt. No amenities at all. I had no choice but to use it. I decided that anyone driving by would be watching the road and besides, if they did see me, they’d have no idea who I was.

blueiiznh's avatar

I Canoed and portaged for a month in the BWCA with zero facilities and became one with the natural way.

woodcutter's avatar

Once I parked my ass in a stall and looked under the wall and saw pumps…shit.

Adagio's avatar

The following experience did not happen while travelling but rather at the institution where I was undertaking tertiary study:
I could only use a disability toilet, somebody had been there before me, an able-bodied person I am quite sure, and smeared the walls with faeces, the result was utterly disgusting. I had to wheel myself way down a corridor, down the lift onto the floor below and use the disability toilet there, after I had finished I went straight to the office and informed them about the state of the toilet upstairs. It is an experience I hope no other toilet user has to go through.

prasad's avatar

Few days ago, I traveled in a train. I woke up early (5.30 a.m.) and did the daily choirs. Much public woke up late, and water tank emptied. I saw many people walk up and down and wait till a big station to refill the water! I was fortunate! In lower class, it’s disgusting; people don’t even flush! I guess you need to come to Asia to have such experiences!

Way back in time, people in India used get relieved by letting it out in the farms. Dig and do, and don’t forget to cover again. Cats’ style! Lol. Then, there were toilets made out of stone. I don’t know, but people tell stories they feared to go there. Toilets were too big (one or two rooms big) and too deep (one or two floors down). Looking down was a horrible experience.

Many Indian, or perhaps Asian, toilets are of this type. Many Indians don’t like this type of toilet; they complain they don’t get the pressure sitting on it. Lol.

prasad's avatar

Sharing my friends experience. He was in a class of around 60 students. He got up in the middle of the lecture and rushed to the door. Professor asked him what…before he knew he got out. He ran to nearby college hostel and vent off…he went home straight after that!

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