27 August 2010

Squatting is Good for You

The turk. A volunteer term of endearment for what is also knowns as the turkish toilet or the squat toilet. Toilets in Morocco are a curious thing. For the most part, you will find people in the countryside have either a cement or porcelain hole-in-the-ground. These toilets, obviously, don't flush, but have somehow, magical water pressure keeps a little water in the hole, and to flush you just throw some water down there, and poof, it disappears! Most of your upscale bathrooms in the city will have a chair toilet (with a button on top, no lever) and a bedé. There are also the middle class bathrooms where you can tell someone has "upgraded" to a chair toilet, either because they can afford it, or because they live with an old person who can no longer squat. A lot of these toilets don't flush, and so you have to pour water in them after you are finished.

As you may have guessed, squat toilets evoke mixed emotions from Westerners living abroad... much of this feeling is due to how much time your average volunteer spends squatting over one. It is considerable. Even the healthiest of travelers can get a parasite, an amoeba, or just your run-of-the-mill vicious bacteria. But, recent studies have shown that squatting may actually be healthier for you. No, I'm not joking: Read this Slate article.

Now, I was told once by a visitor that there are acupressure points in your feet that control your bowels, and the way we use our feet on a squat toilet activates those points. I'm not sure if this is true, but I was pretty convinced by this article that a squat toilet, would, in the long run be healthy for me. Not to mention a great conversation piece at parties!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

i found it amusing that next to the poop article was an advertisement to order jimmy john's.....hahaha.