Originally uploaded by Pat and Amy’s pics

In Greece all of the toilets have signs above them instructing readers not to put tissue in the toilet. There is an accompanying drawing, with a red line through it, showing a hand dropping tissue and what appears to be a ketchup bottle into the toilet. My favourite sign, though, was on the door of a restaurant toilet. It read, “Please do not put anything in the toilet unless it has been eaten first.”

We had seen similar injunctions against putting tissue in the toilets in Turkey and Egypt. In some places the signs explain the tissue causes blockages, and we assumed it was because of the old plumbing. But then I noticed the same signs can be found in toilets on new Greek trains and ferries, so I decided this is just a trick played on unsuspecting tourists and there really is no trouble with the plumbing at all.

Most of Europe seems to have toilets like you’ll find in America, but in much of Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and even parts of Italy there are pit toilets, basically a hole in the floor to squat over. From what we’ve read, pit toilets are used throughout much of the world, so if you travel, get used to them.