Saturday, August 7, 2010

Travels: Toilets


This is a restroom at Warsaw.  Circle = female. Triangle = male.  Yes, I was puzzled when I first heard about these signs on a travel forum and then I saw one with my own eyes at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Every country I got to seems to have slightly different restrooms.
First, there's the matter of what we even call them. European non-native English speakers call it toilet. It's also the word written on signs for public restrooms. This sounded vulgar to me at first but then I too started to call restrooms toilets.

Then there are the stalls. But all European restrooms "stalls" aren't stalls because the toilets are separated from the adjacent toilet by solid walls -- yes that go all the way up to the ceiling and down to the floor.That "foot-tapping" scandal involving some politician (or was it an evangelical preacher?) wouldn't happen in Europe.

Danish restrooms are unique for having er ... feminine hygiene product disposal bins that are just plastic bags suspended by a piece of metal attached to the wall. I didn't see these anywhere else except, I think, Norway.  Like so:


It's also very common in public restrooms and bathrooms at home to have two water levels for flushing, indicated by the bigger and smaller buttons. Oh I almost forgot! The fact that the flush is operated by a button ABOVE the toilet is different from the States too.

I'll also never forget a discussion among members of bidet using cultures (two Italian and Turkish friends) and non-bidet using cultures (me).

I could detail the restrooms I've seen all over Europe but I'm flying out to SoCal very early tomorrow morning. This also means no new blog posts for about another week.

1 comment:

Taz said...

I like the squat toilets - they were popular in Africa and the UAE. According to wikipedia, there's a long list of pro's about them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting_toilet