Problems with the Olympic toilets

March 20, 2008 7:03:49 AM PDT
Among all the protests, pollution concerns and talk of boycotts surrounding the Beijing Olympics, organizers are getting the most complaints about the squat toilets. Most Chinese are used to using them -- many foreigners are not.

The issue came up again over the weekend when the San Diego Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers at the new Olympic baseball venue. The portable toilets trucked in were of the style widely used in Asia, but rarely in the West.

One of the venue organizers says it would be tough to change every permanent toilet in the 37 venues. So the focus will be on satisfying three groups of visitors: athletes, journalists and the Olympic family. That means primarily VIPs.

He says nowadays more and more people demand sit-down toilets -- but it'll take some time for the transition.