Adventures in pottying

squat toiletAirline toilet

The Boy had all sorts of potty adventures on his first trip to Europe.  He started off with the airplane potty.  Definitively different from the potty in his bathroom at home.  Then the train potty, which is kinda like the potty at the rodeo or the carnival – a hard box with elaborate flaps to keep the contents from being too offensive.  That was just the beginning, though.

Did you know that some places they expect you to pay to use the potty?  What kind of fool idea is this?  What if people don’t pay to use the potty?  They’ll still pee, right?  Isn’t this how you get places that smell like pee all the time?  Of course, the upside is that once you pay to use the potty you discover that it’s like a little poo poo palace in there.  Everything’s shiny and clean.  The water’s hot (unlike those stinky non-pay potties).  They have soap, paper towels, and fancy Dyson hand dryers.  The AC works almost as good as an American AC.  Almost.  There might be a mirror.  There are stalls with doors on them.  All mucho bueno.

And that fancy potty is worth something.  Toilet facilities are far from standard.  You know how some restaraunts in the US have kinda crummy restrooms?  They have no toilet paper or smell or something?  Well they ain’t got nothing on a European crummy restroom.  We went to one fancy restaraunt in Rome with no seats on the toilets.  Not as in the seat was broken off and hadn’t been replaced yet.  As in “What?  They make seats for these things?  Never heard of it.”  Of course that was nothing compared to the restaraunt in Vicenza where the potty consisted of nothing more than a ceramic circle around a hole in the floor.  Even a 5-year-old knows you aren’t allowed to pee through holes in the second-story floor.  Where is it supposed to go?  Into the kitchen?  No way, man.

And public toilets aren’t the end of the adventure.  Those hotel bathrooms seem to have two potties right next to each other.  One has no seat and no flusher.  Just a faucet and a handheld shower thingy sticking out of the top.  Come to find out you’re supposed to use the one as, you know, a toilet, and the other is a butt washer.  A butt washer.  What kind of pooping are these people doing that they need a special fixture for frequent butt washing?  Butt washer.  Crazy.

Speaking of flushers, they’re all different.  Some of them are little pedals on the floor.  Some are giant white plastic switches on the wall, several feet away.  Some are knobs you turn, like a kitchen faucet.  Some are big giant buttons on the top of the tank, like an Easy button.  One thing’s for sure, though, not a one is a little lever on the front of the tank. 

Happy flushing.  Butt washers.  SMH.


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