There’s a phrase in Chinese that literally means “occupying the toilet but not shitting.” The phrase “占住茅坑不拉屎” used by a character in the 1997 movie “Eighteen Springs” (半生缘) to describe a man courting Anita Mui’s character. It’s a long-standing idiom, and if you look it up on Baidu dictionary, the definition it will give you is “dog in the manger”. In the metaphor and the story, a dog occupies a manger while not eating the grain but preventing the horse from eating the grain.
Here’s the phrase broken down:
占住 zhan4 zhu4 – to occupy
茅坑 mao2 keng1 – latrine
不 bu4 – not
拉屎 la1 shi3 – to defecate
Yesterday there was an article on Ecns.cn about people who occupy parking spaces with beds or chairs so that they can keep the parking spaces for themselves when they aren’t using them. Although these people do intend to use the parking spaces later (unlike the dog in the manger), the phrase ought to fit. Someone occupying a toilet while not using it could indeed use the toilet later. The people occupying a parking space with a chair have no need for the spaces at the time, and others have a need. (That you need to use put something there to occupy the space proves that much, and you are only making the parking shortage worse.)
Here’s the first photo from Ecns’s slideshow, and click here to see the rest.