One more item about the toilets here. Maybe I’m biased since I also went to the toilets in the train back home (some people find them disgusting) and that I’m in a big city now and not the countryside, but I think they’re really not so bad. Even in the subway station they had a Western toilet and they were all pretty clean.
I used the restrooms now in several different places, from the bar and the KTV to the university, from a little street in the old town to a big fancy mall. Of course there are differences, some are better than others (the KTV one is my favorite so far, included heat and music), but on average I actually find them more clean than in the Netherlands. I think most places are cleaned more often, people here don’t mind doing the dirty work. You can find public toilets everywhere, at parks, at subway stations, randomly in the streets. And the best of it all: they are free!
I do have to say some of the habits of the people using them are a bit disgusting, but that’s mostly just visually. Although they do tend to squat on Western toilets as well, so don’t be all that surprised when you see shoe prints on the seat.
There are basically two things to keep in mind and then it’s really not too bad. 1) Get used to squatting toilets as quickly as possible. Roll up your trouser legs if they hit the ground and relax, this is about as hygienic as it gets. 2) Always bring your own toilet paper (and do not flush that). If you do this, you will be fine. If you want to increase your chances of having a clean toilet, try going to the larger fast-food restaurants, or better yet: big fancy malls, they tend to have the best facilities. When you get adjusted to the Chinese way, you can enjoy it to the fullest when you come somewhere where they have Western toilets, toilet paper, hand soap and towels/dryer. It’s the little things that can make you happy.