This is not out of the ordinary. In many countries that boast bathhouses — like Japan and Turkey — you wash yourself by sitting naked on a stool and scoping buckets of water over your head.
Arab bathroom in Iraq
But where was the bucket? There was none. Do Iraqis really travel with their own bath buckets in tow? Probably not.
Contrary to what spoiled westerners might believe, squat toilets are extremely clean, are the answer to the toilet-paper-saving bidet, and in the natural squat position, our bodies are best aligned to the right position when we relieve ourselves. In short, they are environmentally-friendly.
And you never use toilet paper. You just turn on the spigot to help you wash your private parts, and make sure the area is clean for the next person.
Standard squat toilet in Iraq — you do your duty and then wash off with the hose
In Old China, the stand-up shower is looked upon with scorn, as having a constant stream of warm water rushing over you for an extended period of time depletes your natural supply of defensive Qi. In the shower rooms of many health conscious East Asian homes, you will find a stool and a bucket, for it is thought to be better to wash your body with bucket fulls of water rather than torrents of shower spray.
These Western toilets were used as squatters by people not accustom to sitting while . . .
In point, different styles of toilets and bathrooms can lead to confusion. Bathroom stratagems are some of the most ingrained and thickly constructed of socialized practices. Put an Arab on a Western toilet and you get a mess, put me in an Arab shower and I will contort my body up under the faucet like some sort of odd circus geek.
Perhaps the great litmus test of world travel can be found in the bathroom. The man who can use an un-partitioned Chinese toilet within an arm’s reach of a Chinese guy who is unshamfully reading the paper and talking on a cellphone while taking a crap is a traveler. The woman who can use an overflowing Indian squatter without covering her pant legs with splashes and her face with grimaces is on her way to becoming a seasoned road dog.