Toilets, Revisited.

On board ICE 127 International, En route to Weimar, just past Köln.

I’ve acquired a new problem—motion sickness when traveling on high speed ICE trains.

My problem is compounded by the fact that last night I did not sleep well at all—in fact it was an incredibly fitful sleep—punctured three or four times with long periods of being awake.

Accordingly, my ability to concentrate on the train ride home has been absolutely shot.

Anyhow, right now I’m listening to Twinkleboi talking about his Saturday night—when he was in the toilet at a bar in Cambridge—some guy wanted to use his toilet stall to change his shirt while he was taking a piss.

Which reminded me about paying for the toilets: that ever popular continental addiction to charging you to use the toilet.

It really is annoying.

Friday night I paid 10€ to get in boyband night at the Gay Palace and then 50 €uro cent for each trip to the bathroom.

This is really annoying—I mean Ten €uro to get in? That’s a fortune—and then to charge for the toilets on top of it? That takes balls!

On the other hand, I suppose it could be justified if the toilet was actually kept clean—which marks my biggest gripe about public toilets—particularly in bars—is how incredibly filthy they are. I’ve ranted about the constantly wet floor in the Men’s room at Bullwinkles in Bloomington—even when the bar has just opened for the evening, never mind how it looks at 1 in the morning after several hours of constant inebriated traffic that cannot aim to save its soul.

Of course, since I’m ranting about this, you can probably guess what I think about the toilets at the Gay Palace—considering the 10€ entry and the 50 cents to pee, the toilets were not kept sufficiently clean. Saturday night, the entry was only 4€, with the same charge to pee, and a similar issue.

Other Random Toilet Thoughts: I had an hour to kill in the Utrecht train station since I didn’t trust the Dutch trains to be on time, so I took an earlier train. Annoyingly, I had to pee during this time, so I went to use the 50 cent per trip toilet, which considering it’s a high traffic public space was adequately clean. My biggest gripe is that the toilet is located downstairs, which meant that I had to carry my suitcase down and up the stairs. Putting toilets up or down stairs is fine at a gay bar or in a local restaurant, but really, in high traffic locations where people are carrying suitcases, it would be nice to have some way to pee without having to carry your suitcase.

Disability Thoughts: As I just commented about having toilets up or down stairs, I might as well talk about one place where the United States clearly leads the rest of the world: disabled access. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has done an incredible job of leveling the playing field in the United States, providing elevator access for people in wheel chairs, preventing job discrimination, and making communities accessible for all. This is clearly missing in Europe—the Gay Palace’s two toilets are downstairs in the basement or up on the top floor. The ground floor, where the main dance floor is located, appears not to have any facilities. And actually, as I think about it, I think there’s a step in order to get in the front door.

P.S. – they just came on the train’s PA system to announce that at this moment we were going 189 miles per hour. (Yes, in miles, oddly enough.)

1 comment to Toilets, Revisited.

  • koko

    You know…I do find it annoying for toilets to charge an entry fee (since I rarely cash monies), but at the same time the toilets are so much more people friendly when there isn’t shit and piss splattered across the venue of a toilet stall. I really think it is something that should be considered in America. Especially in bars…UGH. Also, you speak of drunken people trying to take a leak…try being a girl when most girls are raised to think “if you sit on a toilet you’ll get a horribly nasty disease” and you try to position yourself above the toilet properly. I’m pretty certain that it’s the same issue of boys not knowing which way it whiz out or drunken boys who might know which way it will whiz out but they have a hard time chasing around the wobbling toilet/urinal (damn that potty for moving while you’re taking a piss).

    All that said, I’m not certain I’d be more likely to use a public restroom if there were an entrance fee…public bathroom phobia makes me dizzy, pukey, and passey-outie.

    I get motion sickness all the time…I feel your pain but dramamine really helps that and it makes me sleep too! so try that next time 😉