This week, in a Knight’s Atari exclusive, our foreign affairs correspondent comes to us from Asia with an account of some current and important cultural issues.
With the launch of the KA website I have heard clamouring for coverage of wider social issues from malcontents unhappy with the limited scope of the newsletter. To appease these unwashed masses who are our readership, I have prepared the following series of reviews:
Bathroom in my hotel in Beijing: Pretty bad, only lukewarm water, what appears to be a used toothbrush replaced in a packet, comfortable seat. Reading material only in Chinese. 3/10.
Bathroom in train station in Beijing: Essentially a hole in the ground, no door on the cubicle. If I had needed anything other than a wee I would have been severely caught short. No reading material (or jacks paper). 1/10.
Bathroom on train to Ulaan Batar: No graffiti, adequate loo paper and soap, either had heated seats or I always used it uncomfortably soon after someone else. If the former 8/10, if the latter, 6/10.
Bathroom in hotel in Ulaan Batar: Only cold water, complimentary unopened toothbrush, some very inaccurate anatomical drawings on wall. Had to 6/10.
Bathroom in Ger in in a field somewhere in Mongolia: Actually a hole dug in the ground. Lovely view, had to provide my own loo paper. 2/10.
Bathroom on train to Irkutsk: You know the phrase “hunger is the best sauce”? The same is true of toilets (don’t be disgusting now), and after waiting for 4 hours at the Russian border with a man with a gun staring at me I was finally allowed to relieve myself. Adequate loo roll and soap. 11/10 for necessity, 6/10 in actuality.
Bathroom in flat in Irkutsk: Finally a loo that nobody else had been using. My own choice of Russian brands of soap and loo roll. 8/10.
Bathroom in hotel in Moscow: SIX things of shampoo, conditioner and body scrub. 3 soaps. 2 spare loo rolls. Losing 1 point for having a weird auto-flush thing, 9/10. You’d almost forgive the Russians for the oppression and all for the quality of their bathrooms.
In conclusion, civilisation cannot come fast enough to the majority of these foreign places. Let them keep their culture or what have you, but please God put some better bathrooms in in East Asia.