In a recent trip to Taiwan, wifey had an interesting encounter at breakfast. Actually, the exact word she used was, "Disgusting!"
There was a big China tour group at the breakfast place in the hotel as the breakfast came with the room package. One gentleman from this group, presumably a Chinese national therefore, walked over to the toilet at the restaurant. Guess he was searching for a door to the gents. But he couldn't figure it out, even though there was a symbol on the door. To be fair, the door wasn't particularly obvious as there was no door knob. You had to give it a push to enter. At that point, the gentleman must have decided that he could revert to his hometown custom, doing what apparently they do in certain parts of China. He proceeded to unzip his fly and prepared to pee against the wall! Good grief. Wifey happened to see this happening and shouted at him, showing him where the door was. Maybe she should have just walked away and let it happen?
I'm not one who is particularly keen in taking breakfast at hotels when overseas on holidays. It gets a bit too overwhelming as I would then tend to overeat. In addition, that's one less meal that I can go round experiencing the local fare for more variety. I guess with parties like this, it's another reason to avoid breakfast!? Yikes.
At another location near Yehliu, famous for its rock formations, I went to find a toilet to relieve myself. The doorway had a sign that basically said that it was a toilet and there were guys standing all along the urinal peeing. So it seemed to be the right spot. Lo behold, with my zip down and fluid release in progress, I then noticed a line of ladies walking by me heading to the cubicles! Oh geez, was I in the wrong toilet? Apparently not. The cubicles were unisex. Apparently, such a toilet design was not uncommon in Taiwan. Very liberal.
With such contrasting tales of toilet behaviour and practices, I was pretty resigned to a certain standard of toilets in Taiwan. Surprisingly, at another hotel, I discovered to my delight that it had those designs I normally see only in Japan. You know, the kind where you can press to auto-spray water to clean your posterior, and could even keep the toilet seat warm. Mmmm...
It's a strange country with contrasts. Making a link to investment, I draw a corny lesson learnt as thus:
When you're in an unfamiliar space, it's better to scout around and find out more. We may not understand the practices and make the wrong assumptions. Ask if need be, before investing into something we don't understand. The mistake could be more than just an embarrassment. Besides, not all companies in the same industry are necessarily the same in terms of quality. Deeper examination is needed.