No more noodles with your bathroom break

REUTERS In keeping with Passport‘s tradition of updating our readers about toilets in China, we have the latest news: There will be no more food stalls attached to public toilets in Beijing. The Beijing Municipal Commission has decided that “It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets,” which up ...

600116_070808_toilet_05.jpg
600116_070808_toilet_05.jpg
A Chinese toilet attendant sells lottery tickets outside two mobile toilets to subsidise her meagre salary in Beijing December 4, 2000. The Chinese capital has decided to bring its public toilets up to Olympic gold standards in its pursuit of the 2008 Games, the China Daily said on Monday. The toilets will be given anywhere from one to four stars, the newspaper said. ASW/PB

REUTERS

In keeping with Passport's tradition of updating our readers about toilets in China, we have the latest news: There will be no more food stalls attached to public toilets in Beijing. The Beijing Municipal Commission has decided that "It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets," which up till now had been permitted. The city government is also planning to publish a toilet guide and offer telephone and Internet services containing information to help toilet users.

What's the motivation for these efforts? The 2008 Beijing Olympics, of course. China is making a huge effort to crack down on poor public hygiene and improve social etiquette. Earlier this year, China initiated an effort to curb public spitting, cursing and littering, and promote orderly queues. Even poorly-translated English signs in China are getting the boot. But for all the cosmetic changes, it seems that some things aren't changing so quickly: press freedoms and protection for human rights.

REUTERS

In keeping with Passport‘s tradition of updating our readers about toilets in China, we have the latest news: There will be no more food stalls attached to public toilets in Beijing. The Beijing Municipal Commission has decided that “It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets,” which up till now had been permitted. The city government is also planning to publish a toilet guide and offer telephone and Internet services containing information to help toilet users.

What’s the motivation for these efforts? The 2008 Beijing Olympics, of course. China is making a huge effort to crack down on poor public hygiene and improve social etiquette. Earlier this year, China initiated an effort to curb public spitting, cursing and littering, and promote orderly queues. Even poorly-translated English signs in China are getting the boot. But for all the cosmetic changes, it seems that some things aren’t changing so quickly: press freedoms and protection for human rights.

Prerna Mankad is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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