The Asian Squat

A friend of mine used to be a figure skater when she was a child. She can do all those crazy spins like the Olympians do. It also means she can do the Asian squat, a skill I am incredibly jealous of. For those of you who don’t get what I mean by the Asian squat it’s when you can squat down flat footed. Try it. Most people can’t. Except of course if you are a regular at the Meredith Music Festival, or any other festival for that matter, which requires you to pee behind a bush!! I can only squat down with my heels off the ground. I’ve tried to get many Asian friends to teach me but alas, i’m useless at it.

So when it comes to using Asian-style toilets, I come a little unstuck. For those who know me well know I am a bit of a germ-a-phob so the idea of squatting over a hole that is usually surrounded by someone else’s urine makes for quite comical results. Like the time I had to pee on a rickety train in Turkey and slipped because there was no hand rail – EEEEWWWWWWW!!!! It makes me gag just thinking about!

So, today I arrived in Beijing and had my first encounter with an Asian toilet in quite some time. I met some lovely fellow runners on the bus in from the airport but ventured out for a bit of a look around Tiananmen Square with an American guy named Phil, who – ladies – looks remarkably like McSteamy from Gray’s Anatomy. Or is it McDreamy? I never really watched that show much so I don’t know who’s who. Anyway, not the Patrick Dempsey one.

After being befriended by a couple of Chinese girls who then tried to fleece us we went for a couple of beers down a small little alley in a Hutong not far from the Forbidden City. Obviously at some point beer consumption means toilet break so off I trot to the nearby bathroom for a hellish experience that I wont go into except to say I was searching like crazy for my Aquim (hand sanitizer) when I came out. Aquim is a staple in my handbag but I’d left it at the hotel in one of those clear plastic bags that you use to take liquids through the airport!! When I can out, Phil was like “what are you after?” I was like “Oh, nothing, just some hand sanitizer” thinking he would think I was nuts. Then like a manner from heaven he pulls out a little bottle of the liquid gold. Seriously, can I marry you now?!!! 😉

  1. Natalia says:

    Love this story!

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