I always wondered what went on in the women’s bathroom as I patiently waited outside. Well, my wife’s given me the play by play on how it takes her 15 minutes every time she enters a Chinese bathroom. The whole dynamic is based on the principle of lining up. In China, she simply chooses a door in the bathroom and waits. Hope she chooses the right door, or she’ll be waiting on grandma to get her 15 layers back on while teeny boppers 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 all go before she gets the chance. There’s no single file line in which the next in line gets the next stall. It’s every woman for herself in there. Confused? See the diagrams, below.
Enter M’Lynn dancing into the bathroom about to pee on herself followed by two more people, [A] and [B]. How does M choose a squattie not knowing what’s behind door #1? Nevertheless, [M] quickly chooses squattie #1 given it’s the one that requires the least amount of walking while [A] and [B] take their places in front of the remaining two doors. While they’re all waiting, [C] and [D] enter and take their places behind [M] and [B].
Suddenly, squattie #3 is clear and [A] enters to do her business and [D] quickly changes lanes.
[B] enters squattie #2 after the waitress in the stall finishes her cell phone conversation and [C] quickly jumps lines to move on deck.
Amazing. Both [A] and [B] finish at the same time. The bathroom is clearing out! Seizing this opportunity, [M] decides it’s best to change doors now before another person enters. [M] knows the odds are in her favor to have picked the correct door now. [M] can’t stand the thought of 4 people finishing their business before she gets a chance to start hers.
[M] better have chosen the right door now as a group of middle school students just arrived after school and barged into the bathroom. Now anything goes. Lines, what lines? Elbows out people this is about to get ugly.
Students are everywhere! [M] is smoking and can’t stand it anymore! Five people have found the bottom of the bowl and yet [M] still waits. No more Mr. Nice Guy! M will have the next squattie!
What’s that? Door #1 is opening ever so slowly. [M] breaks like lightning and immediately jumps across the four students to claim her original door as grandma gingerly steps out. M gets to go! As [M] closes the door, she hears [C] flush next door.
As you see, this can get complicated. It is especially frustrating in the classic 2 stall situation. (You might think this would be better, but it’s not). After all that drama, it’s probably better to do your business outside like all the kids.