Tag Archives: south africa

18 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from Ireland, South Africa, Sweden, China and from the air

We’re starting in my native land of Ireland, where the small tourist town of Dingle has installed public toilets for dogs. Beat 102-103 FM reports that a number of these toilets have sprung up around the town over the last week.

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A dog posing for a publicity shot at one of the new doggy loos in Dingle. Photo from the Dingle Tidy Towns Facebook page


The BBC is reporting on a town in Sweden that is considering playing music in school toilet block. This is to help students who are too afraid to use the toilets for fear of being heard. Apparently, students are afraid of being overheard peeing as well as pooing and some are avoiding going to the toilet all day long as a result.

I always thought of Nordic people as unafraid of their own bodies. That’ll teach me to stereotype.


A temporary settlement in South Africa is requesting its long-drop toilets back. Northglen News is reporting that the settlement’s plumbed in toilets are blocked and the resulting flood means that the residents have to deal with raw sewage swimming about. Also the fact that all water comes from the same source, it means that residents can’t have showers. Modernisation without investment in services would appear to be useless.


A strange story from the South China Morning Post, where the problem of truancy at Wuhan International Culture University, is being tackled with new punishments. Male students who skip classes are being punished by being made to clean the female dorms and women’s bathrooms and the female students who skip classes are being made to clean the men’s dorms and toilets. I don’t understand the gender-swapping. Is it meant to be more humiliating? Anyway, apparently this new policy is proving to be effective and students are no longer staying at home playing computer games instead of going to lectures.


Finally, to the airways, where a story on Australia’s 97.3 FM reports that flight attendants, when forced to clean a little airplane toilet after a particularly smelly poo, will brew a pot of coffee and throw the coffee down the toilet before cleaning in order to neutralise the smell. Something to try at home?


4 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from New Zealand, Japan, China, South Africa, the US, the UK and Ireland

Welcome to the new format – from now on every Sunday I’ll be posting all of the internet’s best toilet stories from the last week. I imagine you’ve missed me lots.


Let’s start in New Zealand, with a story about a policeman keeping his job. TVNZ reports on the story of a “highly trained” police officer, whose job is to protect the New Zealand Prime Minister and other VIPs, who kept his job after a disciplinary process. He was using the public toilet in parliament and put his loaded Glock pistol down and then forgot to pick it up. An hour and a half later, when he was on his way back, having realised he’d forgotten his gun, it was discovered by a member of the public. Luckily, no harm was done.


Breaking News reports that Sober Lane, a pub in my home city of Cork, has installed a “Snapchat machine” in the ladies’ toilets, so women on a night out can record their toilet fun and drunk group selfies on the pub’s Snapchat story. I’m sure nothing at all will go wrong.


The ladies’ toilet Snapchat Machine  – photo from BreakingNews.ie


Angry commuter stories make me happy. Angry commuters pissing in plastic bottle stories are amazing. Read this story in the East Anglian Daily Times to experience the anger of rail passengers stuck on a train that only had working toilets in half of the carriages. It does sound inconvenient, as they had to get off the train and get back on another carriage in order to access the toilets, so I’m not not on the passengers’ side. But I still find the idea of the people of East Anglia angrily pissing into bottles on a train quite funny.


Now, a story from the Sowetan Live, about a man who has an amazing name and amazing hair. There is apparently a singer  and reality TV star called Papa Penny Penny. Imagine being called Papa Penny Penny and not being a reality TV star. Anyway, the story goes that he once worked as a toilet cleaner. He told a show called Real Talk that “some people would just do their deeds beside [instead of inside] the toilet pot but I just cleaned”. Poor Papa Penny Penny.



Papa Penny Penny – photo from Sowetan Live


Now to China, where a news story in This Week in Asia appears to be trying to make Japan’s good toilets as much of a problem as China’s bad ones. The story tells of the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, when the city’s many dirty, smelly and old-fashioned toilets had to be renovated before the Games started. It compares this situation to Japan’s amazing toilets, thought to be the best in the world, and lists some of the advantages of Japan’s toilets, with their automated functions, heated seats, built-in bidets and washing functions and even the ability to measure blood pressure or analyse urine content. It claims that before the Olympics come to Japan 2020, the Japanese will have a similar problem because competitors and crowds from around the world won’t be able to figure out how to use the loos there. You should mainly read this story for the amazing photos of Japanese toilets, two of which I include here.


This is a photo of Inax’s (a Japanese firm) flagship toilet at a Shanghai expo. Imagine having a flagship toilet. Photo from This Week in Asia, credited AFP. 


A man wearing a poo-shaped hat climbs a giant toilet slide at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Amazing. Photo from This Week in Asia, credited AFP.


Finally to San Francisco, and a story from Business Insider (which is basically Buzzfeed in a suit) about a journalist who tries a Japanese toilet. It’s not just any Japanese toilet. It’s apparently “the Mercedes Benz of toilets” and it costs $10,200. To be honest, that’s too much to spend on an actual Mercedes Benz. She said the toilet was nice, but unsurprisingly she also said that it wasn’t ten thousand dollars nice.


A mortified mum, a charitable friend and some toilet-wrecking hooligans

My toilet blog is back! Boy how I’ve missed reading local newspaper accounts of borough council meetings about whether or not to charge for access to toilets in a small town I’ve never been to and headlines with awful toilet-based puns like “loodicrous”.

The first story today is a very local news story, told in a breathless tone in the Stoke Sentinel about toilets in a park being locked “on the hottest day of the year!” Marie Poole brought her three children to the park and was apparently “mortified” to discover the toilets were closed, especially on such a hot day. She phoned the council to complain and told the Sentinel, “You’ve got to be careful about going in bushes these days.”


Marie Poole, looking sad with two of her children – pic from the Stoke Sentinel


Northglen News is running a story about a very worthy cause in Durban, South Africa, where Claire de Sylva visited a friend in the countryside and had to use her drop toilet (a hole in the ground). On realising the poor access that so many people had to sanitation, Claire started Project Loo Durban and raised enough money for her friend to afford a toilet and now wants the organisation to continue raising funds to allow the whole community to benefit.


Claire de Sylva, posing with a toilet seat around her waist – pic from Northglen News


Finally, the Evening Express reports that Aberdeen Football Club is to send a bill for repairs to Glasgow Rangers, after Rangers fans damaged over 100 seats in their stadium, as well as the ceiling of a toilet. The police are also investigating the damage. The story doesn’t say what Rangers’ reaction to the news was.


The toilet in question – pic from the Famous Aberdeen Facebook page

A Christmas flasher, money for pooing indoors and civil servants driving to the toilet

Essex Live reports on the court appearance of a 31-year-old sales rep who had been enjoying his Christmas party by indulging in four pints of beer and half a gram of cocaine when he decided to go into the ladies’ toilets in the Beefeater where he was partying and take his clothes off, all besides an orange Christmas cracker crown on his head. The court heard that he tied his hands together and bent over so that his genitals wouldn’t be exposed. The man was fined five hundred pounds and ordered to do eighty hours of unpaid work.


Yesterday, I wrote about an initiative in one province of India, as part of the government’s campaign to end open defecation, where teachers would face disciplinary action or even lose their jobs if they were found to be defecating outside. InUth reports on a more positive effort in the district of Barmer, where authorities are offering villagers 2500 rupees per month to defecate indoors. More carrot and less stick.


An indoor toilet in the Barmer disctrict – from InUth


AllAfrica reports on civil servants at the Department of Social Development in Pienaar. Because of water shortages, workers have to drive 6 kilometres to a local shopping centre to go to the toilet. This has resulted in clients with urgent business being left to wait for extended periods of time while staff drive each other back and forth to the toilets.


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Trumpy Toilets, Floods of Sewage, a Condomberg and a Charity Toilet Sit-in

I don’t know why journalists are looking for new angles on Donald Trump. He’s providing more than enough to report on anyway. The Indian news site, http://www.inuth.com, nonetheless dug out an old story about the President elect working in his own Chicago hotel. The headline proclaims that he cleaned the toilets. Unfortunately, the only picture they provide is one of him cleaning a sink.


Trump in rubber gloves – from inuth.com


In an “informal settlement” in Capetown, South Africa, News 24 reports that residents’ homes are being flooded by overflowing communal toilets.  The local council has spent a week trying to clear the blockage and have been unsuccessful. Locals say that the toilets are getting blocked more often due to the lack of sufficient toilet facilities for the population. People are also using the toilets to get rid of domestic and food waste.


The flooded toilets in Cape Town – by Ashraf Hendricks on GroundUp


English authorities also struggle with people flushing things they shouldn’t. The Sun is reporting on Anglia Water’s problems removing a 21-tonne “fatberg” from the sewers in Lincoln, which has also been christened a “Johnnyberg” because one of the items (along with wet wipes, tampons and fat) that blocks up the sewers is condoms. Stop flushing condoms, you guys.


The  Lincoln Johnnyberg that took a week to clear – from The Sun


Finally today, a charity event in Idaho that I don’t really understand, where students will be sponsored to sit on toilets for poor and homeless families.

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From the Idaho Press

A sleepy fan, an economist’s bladder, responsible protestors and toilets filled with interesting ideas

A team of firefighters were called to Barnsley FC when an alarm was activated by a man standing on the roof of a portakabin at the grounds on Saturday. The Daily Star reports that the man had fallen asleep on the toilets at half time. He had had “a few beers” and woke up seven hours after the match ended (Barnsley lost) and found the entire stadium locked up and in darkness. He climbed on top of a portakabin to seek help and found that he couldn’t get down. The Star interviewed a firefighter who said, “He had no shoes on and had lost his mobile phone and his hat. He was more bothered about his hat though. He seemed a smartly dressed lad.”

The Bangor Daily News (Bangor in Maine, not Bangor in Wales or Bangor in Northern Ireland) ran this blogpost by a retired economist who is infuriated by the lack of public toilet facilities in Maine now that his bladder is ageing. He posits that the new state motto should be “Maine – Just hold it!” He goes on to list various day trip destinations from Bangor and ranks them according to the quality and/or presence of their toilet facilities. He only gives the I-95 southbound on Newport an F. Apparently you would need to a trained guide to find a toilet there. On the other hand, he gives Schoodic Point an A grade, claiming that the toilet facility there “makes winter visits a treat for locals and tourists alike”, which is wonderful, but seems like an exaggerated importance on the value of toilets, and that’s coming from an actual toilet blogger.


Portable toilet on fire at the Fees Must Fall protest. (Picture from eNCA)

eNCA reports on students from South Africa, who are currently holding the largest protests in the country since the end of Apartheid in 1994. According to this report the student campaign “Fees must fall” has been remarkable for being so peaceful, in spite of its size. The writer of the story is impressed with the behaviour of the student protestors, who have been seen cleaning up after their protests and even organising study groups during the protests. When some portable toilets were damaged in one of the protests, some of the students even started a campaign to fundraise to pay for the damage done to the toilets, which you can donate to here.

Finally today, we look to that always satisfying source of toilet-related news, Japan, where the Japan News reports on the winner of the Japanese Toilet Grand Prix, which is run by the national government and apparently rewards “toilets filled with interesting ideas”.  The winning toilet was at Shinseiwadai Kindergarten in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, where, according to the article “small children frolicked with delight”. The toilet “features an objet d’art in the shape of an apple tree about one meter in diameter. Its branches stretch up to the ceiling, where a blue sky has been drawn. When the kindergartners enter the space, a sensor activates a cat, elephant and giraffe and music begins playing.” I have added it to my must-see list of toilets.


The winning kindergarten toilet (Picture from the Japan News).