View-your-poo toilets

Insert your poo here

The first time you take a poo in Holland, you’ll be in for a surprise. Not because your poo will be any different from the way it is anywhere else in the world. But because you are likely to get a much closer look at it than you ever wanted to see… 

For some bizarre reason, many toilets in Holland have the drain at the front, rather than the back, of the toilet. That means that when you go number two, instead of falling down the train and getting covered in toilet paper, your poo sits on the porcelain platform (aka the “poo shelf”) on full display. Can a Dutch person please explain to me why the toilets are designed like this?!


About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.
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8 Responses to View-your-poo toilets

  1. karenlac says:

    I’m not a Dutch person, so I can’t say my answer is the absolute reason, but I’m married to a Dutch man and have had some experience with those toilets during my visits there. Here are what I think are the benefits of these toilets:

    1 – As Oprah’s Dr. Oz yells, your poo is a good barometer of your health so it’s handy to have a place to inspect it if you need to. If you don’t suspect yourself of having any weird diseases, then you can avoid looking at it by simply flushing with your back still to it.

    2. The toilet designed this way uses less water.

    3. No nasty water splashing up and hitting your butt when you know what happens.

    Very pragmatic!

    • africagrows says:

      Another Dutch friend told me these toilets are the old style ones and new houses don’t have them. Maybe people just aren’t as interested in their poo as they used to be?

  2. Lollo says:

    You’ll be grateful when the doctor tells you to take a stool sample…

  3. Corinne says:

    Hi, Pedro matos sent me you blog and I’m Dutch and have absolutely no idea. I once went on a quest to find out and the most plausible explanation I found was somewhere along the lines of dr. Oz. All I know is that I find it nice that it prevents the toilet water from splashing back on your backside!

    Nice to meet you by the way 😉

  4. corinne says:

    Based in Utrecht even, go figure! I know Pedro from our Italy years. Would you like to have a koffie en appelgebak sometime? Or maybe a borrel with bitterballen? Send me an email when you have time corinne.eisma(at)

  5. Pingback: Can you see me pee? | Home Strange Home

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