Thanks to my maternal grandmother and her cloth diapers and potty training, I have learned from a really really early age to hold it. Sometimes to the point of unhealthy.

But, it’s an odd skill that comes in handy, especially as a female in Asia. Most of the modern buildings in Thailand has public restrooms as we know it in the States. But I still stick to the nice places like an expensive shopping center or a five start hotel lobby as much as possible.

Because no matter how clean and well maintained they are, even this partially-Asian-raised Asian balks upon finding this kind of a public toilet:

Keep in mind that this examplar is *very* pristine clean… I doubt you’ll find one this well maintained in Thailand- because it was photographed in Singapore! The really old ones are dark, musky, moldy, and reeks of decades of urine. You might even find yourself sharing the stall with critters. It’s not uncommon to see women start rolling up their pants before they even approach the restrooms.

They often do not have toilet paper in such stalls. Drugstores sell toilet/tissue packets specifically catered for women. Now, KY, you understand why I was stocking up in those travel rolls. I haven’t had a need for them yet, but as I start traveling to the more remote regions, I can see myself preferring to do my business in the woods rather than the offered toilets.