When you’re in a public place in a foreign land, be wary of being hit by the call of nature.
In fact, people relieving themselves in public are not unique to certain societies but that is no excuse for such behavior, state news agency Xinhua said.
In a commentary Tuesday, Xinhua said visitors to a foreign country who are caught short in a public place should find a way to relieve themselves without causing embarrassment to themselves or their hosts.
Also, they may be breaking the law, it said. In San Francisco, offenders are liable to a fine of up to US$270.
The comment came after a mainland couple caused outrage in Hong Kong for allowing their two-year-old child to urinate on the street. Public opinion was split over the incident.
In countries such as the United States, rest rooms can be found in most public places such as parks, bus and train terminals, gas stations and even police precincts. It is only a matter of looking for them and anticipating the need, Xinhua said.
Adults should be responsible for seeing to it that children are provided for in such an emergency situation.
Still, Xinhua said there may be extreme cases.
It cited an incident in which a professor at the University of California, Berkeley was arrested for urinating in a parking lot.
The case dragged for three years until a judge ruled against him on the grounds that the behavior constituted a public hazard and was an assault on the senses.
Xinhua said a society can be judged by the way it behaves in an emergency involving the call of nature.
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