Wednesday, July 11, 2007

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go


I am not given to toilet humor, but this was too good not to share, so with both giggles and apologies... I'm afraid that China is going down the tubes. The city of Chongqing has opened a 30,000 square foot porcelain palace featuring an Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1,000 toilets, some in the open air without a roof.

"We are spreading toilet culture. People can listen to gentle music and watch TV," said Lu Xiaoqing, an official with the Yangrenjie, or "Foreigners Street," tourist area where the bathroom is located. "After they use the bathroom they will be very, very happy."

Hmmm.

Officials in the southwestern Chinese city plan to ask Guinness World Records to have the four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest. Now that is truly a worthy aspiration. Footage aired on China Central Television showed people milling about the sprawling facility and washing their hands at trough sinks. Some urinals are shaped like open crocodile mouths, and others are topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary. Holy shit! Do the words "shy bladder syndrome" mean anything to you? There are also plans to build a supermarket nearby, which will sell toilet-related items. If that doesn't boost tourism, I don't know what will. As they say, build a better bathroom and the world will beat a path to your door.

40 comments:

thailandchani said...

Crikey! And I thought I was strange for listening to Joseph Campbell tapes while I'm in the bathroom. (Better than reading old magazines!)

:)

Toilet culture. Oh, boy! Can anyone say "devolution"?

LOL



Peace,

~Chani

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I guess one person's Mona Lisa is another person's loo.

I am not a bathroom reader, and always wonder about people who have magazine racks in there.

It's about the only place I DON'T read.

eastcoastdweller said...

We return you now to the glorious days of old Rome, when anyone who was anyone hung out in the bathhouses a good part of the day.

Jay said...

Yeah, we heard about that on the news. Apparently they're very proud.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Eastcoaster,

Also the Japanese public baths are a social fixture, so to speak.

But I'm not sure the Chinese one has bathing facilities, just toilets. It is the Taj Mahal of toilets.

Jay,

Well, who wouldn't be? Just imagine -- 1,000 people all urinating at the same time.

Wow.

Cece said...

That picture looks like L.A.! lol

CS said...

Toilet culture. Good God.

eastcoastdweller said...

I hear that some chemical companies install filters in American public urinals to collect the valuable uric acid for research and production.

I wonder who would salivate more at the news of 1000 people urinating at once, the golden shower fetish crowd or the CEOs of such companies?

eastcoastdweller said...

I'm also reminded of American potty-parity campaigns -- the noble effort to ensure that women, who tend for certain reasons to require more time in the powder room than men, don't have to do the I-gotta-go dance any longer than men do.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cece,

And what part of L.A. are you from?

Cs,

Isn't it charming?

Eastcoaster,

Ewwww. Consider yourself gonged.

I'm betting on the golden shower crowd, though.

I have never heard of such campaigns. We do take longer because we can't just unzip like some people. My pet peeve is women whom one suspects are primping in the stalls while other women are waiting with tightly crossed legs. I'm not suggesting that there be potty police, but it's not pretty.

Em said...

There are some places in the world I never need to visit - and this is definitely one of them.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Em,

I would love to see China, but could happily skip this particular tourist attraction.

The question keeps returning ... what were they thinking?!!

My Reflecting Pool said...

T. Crapper would be proud.

Liz said...

Good grief...what are they thinking? Although, I suppose it's better than the hole in the floor that I endured for over a year of living there. Even in public places, a hole in a the floor...and no door in the waist-high stall. I've been to Chongqing and I think I had a crowd of folks watching me go. (Nightmare!)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Reflective,

Yes. Proud.

Liz,

How delightful for you. How does one say "Go away" in Chinese?

I'm sure that everything you did was utterly fascinating to them because you were a foreigner. Sometimes, it's better to be boring, I think.

thethinker said...

One thousand toilets? In one building?!

At least people won't have to wait in line.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thinker,

You would think. But China is a very populous country, so they could still have lines. With two thousand people in them.

Molly said...

I have to hand it to you heart. It's always a crapshoot, coming over here. You come up with the most amazing topics!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Molly,

I don't usually know what I'm going to post, either, until I do it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Perhaps now they'll let their factory workers have a bathroom break?

riseoutofme said...

Nice to see that Chinese Officialdom has developed a sense of humour ...

Many years ago I spent some time in Shanghai ... nothing humorous about the excretory facilities then ....

Ian Lidster said...

Just when they thought they'd finalized the 7 'new' wonders of the world, how did they miss this one? And, who said there was no hope for the planet?
Ian

furiousBall said...

because everyone likes peeing on crocodiles...sheesh

Josie said...

Was there any mention of soap and hot water? I would think in a bathroom that has 1,000 toilets and can accommodate as many people, soap and hot water should be waaay up there on the list of priorities.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jr,

They'll be sent out in groups of 1,000.

Riseout,

No wonder they're so proud of the new facility.

I hope it's non-smoking.

Ian,

Well, I"m not going to piss and moan over it.

Furious,

Maybe it's a demonstration of faith -- the crocodile bites off body parts and the Virgin Mary restores them.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.

Josie,

The TV footage showed people washing their hands at trough sinks. One assumes hot water and soap, or not...

velvet said...

Well, I suppose that someone found something that nobody else had done and ran with it. Of course, there's probably a reason it had never been done. That's just odd.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Velvet,

Gee, you think?

Christina_the_wench said...

Imagine the water bill....damn....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Christina,

It's a government-run facility, so that probably doesn't matter.

It must take a shitload of Lysol, though.

Open Grove Claudia said...

So I'm reading this post while listening to the Red Hot Chili peppers "dream of californication". Somehow the large toilet and that song are connected, but I haven't worked out how....

urban-urchin said...

too bad none of the urinals are shaped like lorena bobbit! or a pair of scissors.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Claudia,

You raise an interesting point. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer.

Chinadefecation? Defechinacation? Somebody stop me before I hurt myself.

Urchin,

Lorena Bobbitt was no Virgin Mary.

The scissors, though, we can work with that. Maybe in different sizes, from microsurgery implements to supersize-me style.

Too much sake here.

The Moon Topples said...

Call me old fashioned, but I long for someone to build an ornate, four-story outhouse.

I guess that would put the crocodile in a different light, though.

MsLittlePea said...

Toilet culture. Huh?

la cubana gringa said...

Yeah, but is that huge toilet with a heated toilet seat?? That's the REAL question!

Maurey Pierce said...

Sometimes TV and gentle music is just what we all need!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Moon,

With a pagoda roof and maybe some hanging gardens and of course, tall columns. And stone lions flanking the doorway.

Sweet Pea,

I think this is a distinct case of diff'rent strokes.

La Cubana,

That is downright scary, 1,000 heated toilet seats that go haywire in a storm and electrocute 1,000 people.

Maurey,

TV and gentle music are kind of mutually exclusive, aren't they?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hearts,

I laughed so hard I don't know if I didn't wet myself in the process.

Let's hope not, for many reasons.


We're off to China now... thanks dahlin!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarlett,

I hope you didn't, too, especially since we now know there is a place with 1,000 toilets awaiting your business.

EsLocura said...

it's on my list of vacation "hot" spots.