Through My Lens

Monday, June 13, 2005

European Toilet Adventures

I said I'd tell y'all about my pot-tay adventures over the pond, so here it goes. (Warning: I'm about to talk about poop.)

Okay, let's just say that I can't exactly, well, GO when I'm on vacation. Get my drift? I'm incapable of producing raisin-sized turds (much less the infamous alphabet-shaped bowl wrappers that I've mentioned before) when I'm anywhere but home. Ahem. So whenever I travel I tend to spend a little more time than normal in the bathroom, making a feeble attempt to relax and convince my body in an affirming voice that, "It's ok, dear. You can let go of all of the Belgian and French food that you've been eating for a week and a half. It will feel good. Just do it." But it never works. Anyway, I tried to jumpstart the process when we were still in Newark Airport with a five hour lay over. I calmly went into the stall, laid the paper down on the seat (speaking of which, why hasn't anyone invented one of these with the hole already cut out!? Does this drive anyone else crazy? I have to stand there, sometimes doing the I.Have.To.Pee.Bad. dance, while trying to rip the hole part out before laying it down on the seat! Annoying!), and settled in for a relaxing affirmation time. Pee came out no problem, but as soon as I started to affirm the intestine gods, the stupid automatic flusher flushed, whooshing public toilet water up my ass! I jumped up in the nick of time, angry as hell. Yeah, could you (whoever you are) please invent an automatic flusher that flushes AFTER I get off the pot!? Thanks.

So that attempt failed miserably, as did every attempt I made on the plane to Europe. Of course, as soon as I tried in the airplane bathroom, turbulence began and the "Go Back To Your Seat" light blinked on inches from my face. I'm the obedient type so I went back to my seat immediately with another failed attempt under my belt.

When we finally landed in Belgium I made yet another attempt in the airport (I think I could actually hear my intestines laughing at me that time). Then we met my sister after immigration and rode with her on the train back to her place in Leuven. My first stop at her apartment? You guessed it. Despite my new and NOT! HOME! surroundings, my intestines finally cooperated a little with me, but not without an "Are you okay in there, Victoria?" from my sister. God, how embarrassing. In all, I was able to go three whopping times over eleven days. Not too bad for me, actually.

Something I hated about Europe was the fact that you have to pay to use the bathroom. Ok, I can understand this in some cases because over there they have people called Bathroom Attendants that actually go into the stall after the person before you and wipe the seat. And you thought your job was bad!? (This happened to me in the Brugge train station.) But, some BAs just sit there and take your money, doing nothing at all to contribute to the experience. And sometimes there's nobody there at all. Why must I pay? Anyway, the usual occurrence was that I paid my 30 cents, peed, washed, and left. Repeat about a million times on the trip and I'm broke!

Paris was worse, though, because half of their public toilets on the streets were out of order and wouldn't take coins or unlock to let me in. Worse yet, at a restaurant where we had just forked over $100 for dinner, the bathroom cost 40 cents. I only had a 50 cent piece on me and wasn't about to go look for someone to give me change - I just spend a ton of money, dammit! So, I caught the door after the woman in front of me left the stall and illegally peed without paying. (That's right, I'm an illegal peer.) The door won't lock from the inside if you're a cheapskate like me, but luckily nobody tried to get in. I held the door open for the woman waiting in line, but she started yelling at me in French, which I didn't understand a word of, and she let it close and then paid and went in. Whatever lady. I don't think the establishment is hurting too badly seeing as how they just charged me an arm and a leg for dinner. Get over it. I washed my hands and left that place in a hurry.

In other toilet news, did you know that the Thalys train from Brussels to Paris has pink toilet paper? Think I'm silly enough to take a picture of it? You guessed it!

Pink toilet paper, train ride to Paris

Here's a picture of me in the train bathroom because I thought I looked especially European that day. Yes, this is what I look like constipated. I even learned how to say it in French: Je suis constipe!

Sassy! VW looks European

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:32 AM

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