For most of us, sitting has been ingrained in us from our initial toilet training. Not so for millions of women around the world, who when faced with their first sitting toilet must be equally perturbed.
Recently, a young woman in a tour group I was on asked for instructions as to how to use one. My reckoning if she was uncertain, there are likely to be others. I know I wasn't quite sure whether I was using them properly when I first encountered them in Japan.
Such squat toilets will be encountered in France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Africa and across Asia.
Thankfully, sitting toilets can now be found in places where only very basic squatters once prevailed. Usually, if you are really desperate the disabled toilet will contain a sitter.
In some places symbols are on doors indicating whether the cubicle contains a sit or squat toilet, offering the utter convenience and luxury of your personal preference.
For those unused to squat toilleting, simply squat with your feet either side of the toilet and direct your pee towards the back area of the toilet bowl. Yes even women can direct their pee to some extent and we get better at it with practice.
For a bowel movement I find it easier to face forward, to direct it back towards the sewage outlet, but I may be wrong here?
Most squat toilets thesedays thankfully have a flush mechanism, to clear waste, either located on the wall, or floor. In some instances you will find a jug and bucket of water in the toilet to flush waste away.
It is a courtesy to refill the bucket for the next person if that is what is used for flushing out the waste!.
Always carry some tissues and handwipes lest you get caught short of toilet paper, or a hand basin. You will really appreciate the hand wipes when using any sort of grotty toilet, regardless of whether it is a squatter or a sitter.