Communal Toilet

Chinese public toilets truly exemplify the word “public”. Going to pee has never been more public than when there are no doors on the stalls, and only a short wall divides you from your neighbour as your pee splashes jovially together into a communal trough. In Chinese 公共 “gonggong” breaks down to mean “general/public” and “share/common”, so perhaps “communal” toilet would be a more apt name for the place where comrades share their water-passing.

It’s not like it’s dirty. The floors are scrubbed clean, the trough is streaming with clear water…It was certainly up to Beijing hygiene standards: not one fly was in sight!

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