Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where is this?

If you know, just say so... click on comments.

I don't know who guessed because they posted as anonymous... the picture was taken in Florida, near Seminole.

In my 20 years of living in Libya and my 27 years of being married to a Libyan, and the two years we were engaged... That's a lot of years! And a lot of chances to get to know the Libyan mentality and culture.

One of the things that I found surprising came about while I was visiting a Libyan woman who was potty training her toddler. Anyone that has any experience with that knows that you spend a lot of time standing next to a kid that is sitting on a toilet. But to my surprise this woman had her child standing on the seat, legs wide apart, squatting. When I asked her why on earth she was having the child stand on the seat she looked at me strangely and said that this was how she had been taught. I asked if she still stood on the seat and she said 'Of course.' Later I found that this was not uncommon among Libyans who were used to using Turkish style 'hole in the floor' toilets. I often find foot prints on the seat of bathrooms I've been in in Libya. I probably would have just thought the seat was dirty but ever since seeing that kid standing there I look for footprints... lolol...and wonder why on earth they can't figure out that you are supposed to sit on the seat, not stand on it.

While I was in the US my sister took me to have a pedicure. Knowing that I'd be sitting for a while I decided to visit the bathroom first. It was located in the back of the salon and was used mainly by the staff, all of whom were Vietnamese. I sometimes wonder if the entire female population of Vietnamese in the US are working as manicurists. Anyway, I walked into the door and was confronted by the sign. I read it and started to laugh and decided I'd better take a picture because no one would believe me.

I don't think I've ever heard of an American standing on a toilet seat. Standing on the toilet seat must be a third world kind of thing. The sign was posted for the Vietnamese employees.

Culture even finds it's way into the bathroom...lolol

A commenter pointed out Baba Gannouj's blog. He posted this image of a sign from Syria:


  1. doesn't look like somewhere in Libya for me .. !!! is it a bathroom in the American embassy !

  2. Hi KT,

    Sorry, I have no idea where it is, but then I'm in the US. Why would anyone want to stand on the toilet?

    Looking forward to pics of the new house.

    A FAn in America

  3. LMFAO!!!!!! My husband had to put up a sign like that at his office in Tripoli! It seems that some become confused as to do with a toilet that flushes. (It's all sorcery you know) Now if we could only teach em to Wipe their ass and WASH their hands, revolution might just be possible!

  4. i think somewhere abroad but while u were in U S A may be from there

  5. to tankgirl
    please don,t appear that you are perfect people, you use the toilet tissue to wipe your ass with out use water to clean it and your hands
    thank god for Islam

  6. Anonymous said... the place is in u.s st.petersburg fla .or Seminole? must be were foreigners hang around
    they might be fixing their???
    Kristen knows for sure .
    i am not saying she is a foreigner but because she lives near by .,

  7. tank girl you are so crude sometimes. i do think the sign is funny,but having lived in Libya, you know that toilets are different. people probably dont want to get thir skin on a seat that others have used- ie they want to keep thmselves clean. and i am sure they clean up, hands and all- come-on now.
    but i am dying to know---where is it khadija???!!!

  8. i wait my comment that sent for TankGirl
    please but it, she start fight and you but her comment

  9. I cant guess where is it but I do know there are some people who are not clean everywhere and I do know that most Libyan are very clean so they dont need anyone to teach them because they are Muslims .
    you have to know that Islam
    however it is better to teach who use directs as to clean whit water not with any other thing like tissues , so you must teach people who you tissues

  10. i use toilet for non Muslims , i saw basket fully by infected tissue
    i have to say thank god for Islam

  11. khalid said...
    to tankgirl
    please don,t appear that you are perfect people, you use the toilet tissue to wipe your ass with out use water to clean it and your hands
    thank god for Islam..........

    Not all Americans only use toilet paper to wipe themselves. Lots use disposable wet cloths called baby wipes. They even make special wet cloths in the toilet paper area of the grocery store. They are called hygiene wipes. Lots also just wet the toilet paper. You should do your research before you make these statements. Judging from the language you use you don't sound very educated anyway! I understand what she is talking about, I grew up in Japan and most of the toilets are just a hole in the floor. Yes they are porcelain but installed in the floor so that you squat over them. Just be careful you don't slip and end up with your foot in the toilet. That can very irritating. LOL This is a fact of life that things are different in many countries and not a bad thing so why use foul language and get angry when we discuss these differences. I see nothing wrong with this post. You seem very sensitive for some reason.

  12. Well, maybe it's because I'm Italian...but the first thing we teach to our children is not to seat on the wc, anywhere, for any reason, apart on the one we have at home!!!! My son is still standing on it as he is still to small to stand beside it.
    Honestly it is much more weird to sit on a public toilet,unbelievable!!!
    This time I have to defend libyans, at least thy have the bidet!! Italians normally think awful things of people like brits and americans that do not have it.


    Molestine (coming back to Libya soon)

  13. Funny. Baba Gannouj posted a similar Syrian toilet sign:

  14. Well assuming there's not toilet seat coverings available, I understand a young child perhaps needing to stand on the toilet as they may be too heavy for their parent to hold over it. But don't understand why someone over 4 feet tall would need or even want to stand on the toilet seat----rather dangerous and silly. Why not just straddle it?

  15. oh my god these are so funny comments i was laughing my ass off

  16. I remember a bar that used to have a bidet in the women bathroom in Houston . Women would go to that bar to just stare at it and wonder out loud what it was used for , lol . Plumbing can be such a mystery sometimes ! Ask any man , lol .

  17. to san antonio cicily
    firstly it is not my basic language, i mean English, to Judge if i educated , i tried to wrire as i can, that is my luck i can't to learn English because my private circumstances, i found the blogs to learn at least some of statements, but i surprised that some people affront us, we respect who respect us
    you know tankgirl what meant when she said > (Now if we could only teach them to Wipe their ass and WASH their hands)(who will teach who
    finally.. i am sure that you can't write these bad statements because your comment means you are perfect
    ... that is true

  18. I have seen footprints on public bathroom seats, but thought it was a kid trying to look over the door. I would have never guessed in a million years people would actually use the bathroom propped up on the seat. I wonder if toilets come with how to use instructions?

  19. I remember my mother-in-law telling me such a story after living in Guam and taking in a young girl from the islands. That was in the '60s. I had experience with a hole in the floor toilet when we crossed the Alps. I had no idea that it still happened.......even with adults. Live and learn.

    Keep keeping us informed.

  20. Can someone PLEASE explain why Libyans do NOT use toilet paper??? This is so gross! How can you clean up after #2 with water alone?
    I do give them credit for using water/bidet but c'mon people... in combination with toilet paper, please.....

  21. Hi
    Thanks 4 ur story . I'm Libyan and never heard of Libyan people sitting on the toilet chair like u said !!! may be the women is mentally unstable but does not mean all Libyan are!!!


  22. Wow, what a controversy! Different cultures folks, perhaps most of the commenters here need to look at their levels of cultural sensitivity. Just goes to show how well educated some are if they think that "theirs" is the only way. I'm sorry, but the insensitivity here has made my blood boil, especially the comment about "Judging from the language you use you don't sound very educated anyway!" As an ESL teacher that annoyed me totally.



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