T is for Toilet


by Lillian Csernica on April 23, 2016

 

Sooner or later when traveling one must take a break from all the fun and excitement to find a restroom.  For me this has led to some of the stranger and more interesting bits of information I’ve picked up along the way.

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Convention hotel bathrooms:

Pat and I have stayed in a variety of hotels over the years, from the random Motel 6 to the Hilton.  We have experienced many varieties of plumbing.  Being writers, we’ve compiled a list of questions and observations to do with this particular topic.

Why would any interior designer put the toilet facing the mirrors in the bathroom?  Only the most narcissistic person really wants to see him- or herself at that moment!

There’s one hotel where the doors slide together in a manner similar to Japanese fusuma.  They meet in the middle, leaving a narrow but perceptible gap.  The frames are heavy wood, so when they roll on their tracks, there’s considerable noise.  Not a happy thing in the middle of the night.

I’ve already mentioned the mind-boggling goofiness of putting the light switch outside the actual bathroom itself.

In the older hotels and motels, ancient plumbing is often temperamental.  If they can give me an iron in the closet, it would be nice to have a plunger in the bathroom.  Then maybe I wouldn’t have to go looking for one after midnight, which can lead to all kinds of trouble!

Airport restrooms:

Haneda airport has to cater to a wide variety of nationalities and religions.  I’ve never seen a bathroom stall with so many accommodations, several of which I could not identify.

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travel.detik.com

Japan — During Nippon 2007, Pat and I spent some time at the main hotel in the Pan Pacifico Convention Center.  We later discovered the restroom was divided into the side for the Japanese ladies:

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And the side for Western ladies and Japanese mothers with small children.  More buttons than we knew what to do with!

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inquisitor.com

Generally speaking, there are no paper towels in Japanese restrooms unless it’s a site that also caters to Western guests.  Japanese ladies often carry cloth handkerchiefs with them.

Paris — When I spent the weekend in Paris with the Dutch bus tour, I had a room to myself in the hotel where we all stayed.  This might sound ideal, but it wasn’t.  The bathroom left me perplexed.  Having never before encountered a bidet, I had no idea what it was.  It did not look like a toilet, I could see it did not function like a toilet, so I was left to wonder where exactly the actual toilet might be.

toilet-room-view

Not until the next day did I finally ask somebody for help.  The solution to the mystery?  I could not find the “water closet” in particular because when my hotel room door opened it concealed the door to the little closet that held nothing but the toilet itself.

I’m positive some French architect did that on purpose just to make foreign tourists look silly.

My advice: Always carry toilet paper, a packet of sanitary wipes, a packet of tissues, etc.   Sooner or later you’ll be very glad you did.  What’s more, you may be able to bring aid and comfort to a fellow traveler!

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7 Comments

Filed under Blog challenges, Conventions, Fiction, frustration, history, Humor, Japan, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, research, travel, Writing

7 responses to “T is for Toilet

  1. A world of potties! This is great! I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. Somehow, I never thought about the toilet.
    I’ve had odd traveling stories that included toilets… in Guatemala, it is illegal to put the toilet paper in the toilet and then flush. I’m still unsure of the enforcement mechanism. In East Germany (just before the wall fell), the toilet paper had the consistency of sandpaper. At many public facilities just about anywhere, they’ve switched to self-flushing toilets and, sometimes, the toilet flushed while you’re still on it, causing you to jump high in the air and hope that you’ll land in the same spot you were in before you suddenly went aloft.
    Thank you for visiting my blog (Alice’s Grand Adventures).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first time I encountered one of those self-flushing toilets, I very nearly needed a mop! Sneaking up behind a person at that particular moment is a very bad idea. LOL

      Like

  2. Japanese facilities offer an intriguing range of ‘services’ but I was always afraid I would accidentally launch myself into orbit by hitting the wrong button! I find I prefer the restrooms in Germany’s major train stations, which are small cities unto themselves, complete with paid attendants. If you’re lacking any number of necessaries, they will cheerfully provide them for you, at minimal cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always wonder that myself: why woudl anyone want to put the mirror in front to the toilet?
    Mah…

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz

    Like

  4. Toilets! One of my favourite subjects.

    Liked by 1 person

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