I figured since we were on the subject of bathroom habits in different parts of the world (we were? No one informed us!) I would continue on that thread. To catch some of you up, we have established that it is recommended that you DON'T flush toilet paper into Costa Rica's delicate septic systems and that some people in certain areas of Nigeria do not know how to use toilets-they are used to digging holes and squatting over them to 'take care of bidness'. Now I am going to take you on a little tour of the facilities we visited the last time we went to Europe, and perhaps some of ya'll across the pond can enlighten me as to the use of some of the unique equipment we encountered whilst there.
In Rome, we stayed at a very nice hotel very close to the Spanish Steps. The room we stayed in was by US American standards very small, but very plush. The bathroom had all the usual amenities with one unusual addition. At the foot of the commode, there was another commode basin with no seat that had sink type faucets. Now, I was under the impression that a bidet sprayed upwards and that it was for washing one's nether regions, but this thing was maybe ten inches from the floor, and placement wise, the only thing we could finger out that it was suited for would be for soaking one's feets whilst taking an extended dump. Personally, I don't think I could function that way if my feet were soaking in water. Anyone have a clue?
Then there was Paris. Again, very nice ApartHotel, with what we in the US would consider 'normal' with one rather odd difference. Rather than a flush handle on the toilet, there were two pads on the wall that both flushed the toilet. One was about three inches by three inches, and the other was about six inches by three. The smaller one flushed much faster than the larger, so we deduced that the smaller one was for 'les peepees' and the larger for turdage (Europeans seem much more conscious of conserving energy and natural resources than we are in the US).
And now for my personal favorite, Amsterdam. It is always fun trying to find somewhere to use the bathroom in Amsterdam, especially for womyn. The city kindly provides some outdoor portolet type urinals on busy streets for men to use, probably to keep them from whippin' 'em out and just pissing on the sides of buildings. Womyn not being as 'equipped' for said business as men are are at a distinct disadvantage, however, because the VAST majority of public restrooms in Amsterdam are of the PAY variety. And not the old coinop stalls that I have encountered in the US-these are 'guarded' by an attendant who has a little saucer into which you are supposed to put your 'offering' before you make your offering. This goes for places where we in the US would expect facilities to be readily available for free, i.e. restaurants etc. Case in point:
We were wandering around the streets of Amsterdam and both of us developed 'The Urge'. I had to pee, which was no huge deal, but the Innocent Bystander was suffering the effects of a night of beer drinking and needed an actual STALL, so we decided to avail ourselves of the convenient McDonald's. The little bathroom attendant sat in her little chair with her little saucer into which we both deposited out thirty five or so Euro cents. I did my business, then came out to wait for the IB, seating myself so that I would see him when he came out. I guess it didn't take long for the attendant to figure out what he was doing in there, because as soon as the next gentleman came up the stairs to go into the bathroom, she leapt from her chair and blocked the door to the men's room and motioned for him to go into the ladies room to do his business. I giggled a little to myself the first time it happened. In the next ten minutes, it happened three more times, each time the attendant being a little more dramatic and adamant about directing the men into the ladies room, letting them know in no uncertain terms (even I could understand her Dutch at this point)(not that there is a whole lot of translating necessary with a woman standing in a doorway blocking it with her body while waving her arms dramatically like she was waving off a field goal and then waving her hand in front of her nose making a 'stinky' face) that they did NOT want to go in there. When the IB finally came out, she jumped back over to her chair and made a huge deal of grabbing a can of air freshener and spraying her way both into and out of the men's room, leaving no doubt whatsoever as to what he'd been doing in there. I was ROLLING.
How about it? Any insights? And what about ya'll? What kind of 'different' facilities have ya'll come across (Heh. I know. I just said come across. *snort*) in YOUR travels?
- I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org