The role of a plumber in Melbourne may seem easy compared to the challenge of foreign plumbing

While the job of a plumber is difficult and dirty enough in Melbourne, international plumbers have aneven trickier task. While in Melbourne we are use to first class plumbing systems with flowing water and access to toilet paper, some other countries are not so lucky. Toilets across the world differ greatly, depending on cultural traditions, concepts of hygiene and access to water and paper. This makes the job of a plumber differ greatly.

For those who are yet to travel overseas, it may come as a shock to you that not all toilets are the same. The western-style toilets we are all accustomed to in Melbourne are not always available when you’re overseas. For educational purposes and just out of pure curiosity, we have put two nations toilets head to head. You will be amazed to see the differences between the toilets in China to then ones in Japan.

Chinese Toilets

If you like your privacy when you go to the John, then you’ll have to cross your legs in the People’s Republic of China. In this totalitarian society, toilets are highly communal, with no doors and sometimes no partitions. They are also squat style, with generally no flush. While this isn’t completely surprising for a complete collectivist society, it can be a real culture shock for unsuspecting tourists.

Luckily for tourists they can find solace within most hotels which are equipped with western style toilets, however they can’t hide when they venture outside. It is not uncommon to enter a public Chinese toilet in a shopping centre to find locals with their trousers around their ankles, squatting in open air, madly chatting to each other without a care in the world. In some instances there is even a communal trough that only features one flush in the first toilet that works for them all. Sometimes there’s not even a shared flush, but instead a bucket of water that attendants pour down the trough once in a while.

When visiting China, don’t expect something for nothing. Toilet paper is not free and sometimes you don’t even have the option of doing a “number two”. Some toilets feature a grill over the squat hole to ensure nothing but liquids passes through. They even threaten to fine perpetrators who disobey the rules.

Japanese Toilets

Japan is renowned for having the swankiest electronic toilets in the world, beating out many first world nations for toilets. However, it took time for toilets to evolve. Initially the Japanese preferred the squat style toilet, which can still be found in use today in some public toilets today. However, after World War 11, Japan made the switch from squat toilets to the western style flush toilets and urinals. The Japanese currently favour the bidet toilet, which they refer to as a washlet. This style of toilet is now installed in 72 per cent of Japanese households and is the most modern style of western toilet on offer.

While Japan is famous for the high tech gadgets, it was actually the US that manufactured the Washlet G Series by Toto in 1964. It wasn’t until 1980 that the high tech toilet was first introduced to Japan. By 2002, the washlet dominated Japanese homes with nearly half of private homes using the toilet. Amazingly, this figure surpassed homes with a personal computer.

This toilet looks like a normal western toilet however has many addition features that make it extra special. The extra features include bidet washing, deodoisation, seat warming, anus washing, automatic flush, water jet adjustments, automatic lid opening, wireless control panel, massage options, blow dryer and much more.

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