I was watching a TED video about “lets talk crap” and it spun me off tangentially into thinking about my experiences of loos across the globe.
I have been a solo traveler from a young age and I first started traveling to Hyderabad in overnight trains and buses. Much to the nuances that come with a solo woman traveling in India, one of the biggest has been using the loos or so-called loos in dark scary random places on long overnight journeys. But more about those amusing stories for another time. As a solo traveler, you tend to get more watchful, you are more observent and you pay extra attention to details. Any minute detail that helps you blend in as much as possible and evaluate the place better.
Visiting loos right at the airports give you a feel of the economy of a country coupled with the culture and conservativeness of the locals. This helps me form my first impressions of the place even before setting foot.
For instance, In countries like Dubai, Abu Dhabi they are completely closed rooms reflecting the conservative culture while the grandeur reflects the abundance of money. European countries and the UK are classy and modest while in the US and Mexico they are more liberalistic with barely enough privacy! Even within India I have found loos to be much cleaner in Kerala while Delhi is awful.
Now Japan would be an interesting place to visit considering they have culminated technology into their sanitary system, Woshuretto as they call it!