Breaking news in the Beijing Olympics controversy: They're fixing the toilets. I've prayed for this day (dabs at eye with hankie). It makes sense. The Chinese government realized that if it wants the Olympics to run efficiently, then it needs to address this pressing issue. Simply put, American athletes will put up with a little Tibetan monk gassing, but they refuse to squat!
Most toilets in China are still of the squat rather than sit-down variety, as spectators and competitors at recent test events in otherwise state of the art venues like the "Water Cube" aquatics centre discovered. "In my personal point of view, there are cultural differences between Chinese and Western people. Chinese are more used to squat toilets," said Yao Hui, a senior official responsible for the management of Olympic venues. "Toilet alteration projects at the Bird's Nest (National Stadium), the Water Cube and National Indoor Stadium are ongoing and if technical conditions permit, all the toilets in these stadiums will be changed."
Meanwhile, in Japan, toilet technology is light years ahead of that in China. The Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics came home from their two-game series in Tokyo raving about the toilets. They practically could talk of nothing else. Said Oakland's Emil Brown:
"The toilets are the best. Do we have those? I mean, they're, like, way ahead of us as far as putting stuff out there."
Best feature, according to Brown: The heated seats.
But when he says that Japan's toilet technology is ahead of ours, I have to laugh (photo below from Dave Barry's blog).
A's Turn Up The Heat On Red Sox [Yahoo Sports]
No More Squatting In Water Cube Toilets, Beijing Says [Guardian UK]