An Ode to Squatty Pottys; A Haiku Journey

December 15, 2016

Toilet Waterfall, China

I’m not afraid to talk about poo.

I actually quite enjoy it, my family would love to inform you about my affinity with the poo emoji and I won’t deny it. Everyone poos and that definitely doesn’t stop when you are in Asia (a land full of bacteria infested drinking water and spicy food). Squatty pottys are king here whether us Westerners like it or not. When traveling in Asia one can have many squatty potty experiences ranging from pleasant to downright traumatic.
Before heading to China a friend gave me a fair warning about the squatty pottys.

I ignorantly dismissed her warning. I had pleasant experiences with squattys in Indonesia and Japan. Despite my past exposure to squattys I would soon endure some squatty potty shock. I have created a few haikus as a reflection of my squatty potty journey while in China.

We first arrived in China on July 13, 2016 and were quickly acquainted with the airport squatty. If you travel throughout China you will learn to despise public squattys or even public western toilets.  Public western toilets are even worse because many like to squat on top of the toilet leaving behind footprints or pee covered seats. This first haiku is a tribute to all the public squatty potties available across the country.
July 13, 2016

rancid cesspit

am i standing in urine?

No Toilet Paper. Good Luck.


Toilet Paper, China

This is a picture of my mom with her prized toilet paper. Toilet paper is a prized possession in China because you have to BYOTP (bring your own tp) if you plan on leaving the restroom with good hygiene.

After being in China for a few weeks I soon discovered the enormous variety of squatty potties that are offered across Asia. Some resemble fancy porcelain thrones and others are literal holes in the ground. Our host home squatty was from the pre-flush era. Needing buckets of water to force flush the poo poo down the pipes. This variety of squatty is real smelly and a great place for cockroaches to make their homes. Big ones, little ones, quick ones, and flying ones (yes, cockroaches can fly). We discovered this little diddy the hard way. This turned potty time into watch time. As in watch all the corners to make sure the cockroaches don’t come out to avenge their squashed family members. This next haiku is dedicated to the squatty in my host home.

July 29, 2016

Make it quick or die

a throne for cockroaches

flush with a bucket


I became quite nostalic for the beloved squatty towards the end of my journey knowing that I would soon be returning to the US. While my relationship with the squatty is quite complicated I have grown to appreciate all that is has to offer. I dedicate this final haiku to the squatty’s more admirable qualities.
August 13, 2016


abrupt elimination

no perspiration


Here are a few pics I snapped for your viewing pleasure. Guess which one harbored a colony of cockroaches?’
Check out some of the benefits of the squatty here or here. It might make your encounters easier to digest. (pun intended) I’m not going to lie I’m trying to talk B into purchasing a squatty potty stool step.
Has anyone else had interesting squatty potty experiences? How do you feel about the squatty potty?


More about Eemma Iseman

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