Toilet Signs Try To Teach Important Lessons But Sometimes Trigger Guffaws : Goats and Soda The signs offer important advice. But it seems they can't help but offer humor as well.
NPR logo Toilet Signs Are Mysterious And Mirth-Inducing

Toilet Signs Are Mysterious And Mirth-Inducing

A toilet sign in Kyoto, Japan, offers some helpful and humorous advice. Martin Child/Getty Images hide caption

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Martin Child/Getty Images

A toilet sign in Kyoto, Japan, offers some helpful and humorous advice.

Martin Child/Getty Images

You are in a foreign country. And things are certainly looking a bit foreign.

Do you sit or squat? Can you toss toilet paper down the bowl or hole?

Let the signs guide you.

That is, if you can understand them.

Doug Lansky, author of the Signspotting series of books, knows how toilet etiquette signs can be mysterious, misleading and hilarious. His books include all types of funny warning and advice signs, but the topic of toilets is especially popular.

Lansky, who gave up a job offer at The New Yorker to travel the world, has seen his share of terrifying toilets. The worst? "A second-class Indian train toilet. The train is shaking, there is no light and it's pretty clear everyone else has missed the target too. Plus, it's your standard messy hole in the floor, but underneath it's just train tracks whipping by. You have to be a really confident squatter."

Ew.

Goats and Soda asked Lansky to share some thoughts on funny toilet signs around the world.