(p. 9) BEIJING — Li Wen had heard about the turbo-strength flush power and the lily-scented soap. He knew about the stalls equipped with personal television screens and wireless Internet access, the soothing cello soundtrack and the windows lined with aloe vera plants.
But Mr. Li, 39, a salesman, was skeptical when he set foot in the new public toilet at the corner of Fuqian Square in Fangshan, a district in southwest Beijing.
“What was wrong with the old one?” he said. “The government has too much money and doesn’t know how to spend it.”
. . .
“It’s just a toilet,” said Lei Junying, 74, a retired farmer who lives in Fangshan. “Why do they have to make it such a nice one?”
She added: “The government puts out its hands and asks people to pay taxes. Why don’t they donate that money to poor neighborhoods instead?”
. . .
Some residents worry that the popularity of the new toilet and the presence of television screens and Wi-Fi will encourage guests to linger too long.
On a recent day, Li Peiling, 39, a dental assistant, grew restless after waiting five minutes for a stall. She began to shout at the row of closed doors.
“Time’s up!” she said. “Some of us need to get to work!”
For the full story, see:
JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ. “High-Tech Toilet Facilities Earn Praise and Questions in China.” The New York Times, First Section (Sun., DEC. 27, 2015): 9.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date DEC. 16, 2015, and has the title “Wi-Fi, A.T.M.s and Turbo-Flush Toilets Highlight China’s New Public Restrooms.”)