Here’s a little life lesson for us all: no matter how nice a toilet seat might be, don’t try and steal it.
A pair of Chinese tourists have become social pariahs on the Chinese internet after snatching a fancy toilet seat from a Japanese hotel in Nagoya. On October 18th, the husband-and-wife couple discovered the precious bit of porcelain underneath their bed and assumed that nobody would miss it.
When the hotel called their tour guide looking for the missing spare seat, they initially denied stealing it, before it was discovered in their luggage. They then apologized to the hotel, claiming that they thought the toilet seat had been left under the bed by the previous occupant of the room.
The incident has gone viral on Chinese social media and the two tourists have become the target of online scorn and ridicule with netizens casting them as one of the reasons that Chinese tourists have developed such a poor reputation abroad. In addition, web users have also been very busy hunting down the couple’s identity.
The backlash has become so bad that the female tourist has offered to resign from her job as a manager at a bank in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, in order to save her company the embarrassment of being associated with her, Sina reports.
The incident has even spurred official action with the Ningbo Municipal Tourism Bureau issuing new guidelines for tour groups that emphasize “pre-travel education” for tourists about what they are and are not allowed to do abroad. The bureau also urges all tour groups to appoint a supervisor that will oversee “civilized behavior.”
Still, some believe that this is yet another case of the Chinese internet going too far.
“She just stole a toilet seat and now she will lose her job? This is too extreme,” one web user wrote.
The Japanese hotel chain itself agrees with the more sympathetic side of Chinese social media, telling the South China Morning Post that it “still welcomes” Chinese tourists, though it is considering putting up some notices to avoid similar incidents in the future.