Many cities in Europe make you pay to use public bathrooms. This can be a complete shock to people from outside the continent, especially Americans, who think being able to go when you have to is a human right. The problem with not being able to get into the bathroom when you are desperate to poo is pretty obvious. But in general, the continent has embraced this way of doing things.
Perhaps nowhere more so than in Sweden. Trip Savvy has a whole page devoted to what you can expect when you encounter a toilet in that country, and the first con they list is the fact you have to pay. Most places expect exact change, so having some bills or a credit card isn’t going to get you far. They recommend you always have small change on you just in case. Some public bathrooms might have an actual attendant taking your money.
The learning site Transparent Language also devoted a post just to Swedish toilets. They give readers a strategy for how to find bathrooms that are free, like in libraries. But they also mention a sneaky way to not pay for regular public bathrooms. If you find one that is occupied and wait right next to it (but “don’t be creepy”), once the person inside comes out you can try to grab the door before it closes. While this might result in “a dirty look,” it’s “pretty common practice” especially as it gets later and people are drunker.
China started a revolution to update their bathrooms
China is quickly becoming one of the world’s most important economic centers. This means more people from the West and places like Japan and South Korea are coming to the Communist country. But until recently, the standard of public bathrooms in China and the manner in which they were used was very different to what people from those other countries were used to. One visitor said the toilet situation was a “disaster” and some bathrooms didn’t even have doors. The shocked reactions were becoming a problem, so in 2015, President Xi Jinping ordered a “toilet revolution,” according to the South China Morning Post.