Ever since she was a child, every time me and my family went out for dinner, the first thing my sister used to do was ask for the bathroom (of course to use it) and every single time I wondered “couldn’t she do it at home? “.

Of course not. No because peeing at home is not the same thing. How foolish was I trying to use the toilet at home just ’cause, well, you know, public bathrooms, restaurant’s or bar’s or whatever, are not exactly clean usually and it’s not just your bathroom. Especially for a woman, you have to adopt that awkward position that every mother cares enough to teach you since you’re a newborn, not to touch the seat because you can get diseases and fungus and probably a crocodile will come out of the toilet to bite your butt. And toilet paper is alway lacking and just when it’s too late you realize that you forgot your Kleenex in the bag that you have not bothered to bring along ’cause “I do not need it”.

So no, I carefully avoided the toilets of the restaurants until late evening when inevitably, given my tendency to drink 2 liters of water every meal slightly longer than normal, I had to use them.

The years have passed, I grew up (and my sister too) and I started going out with friends, attending clubs, bars, restaurants, pubs etc etc … and I finally understood what my sister would find so interesting in public restrooms. Enough to get out of the bathroom sometimes to return to the table and encourage a friend with a “You’ve got to go to the bathroom, it’s too good.”

mHW0CLyx_Bd0Y61bUVljDPAAnd after many years of visits to public restrooms I also realized that there are different categories and that are usually associated with the type of places they’re in.

  1. Disco Toilettes: with absurd colors on the walls that make them seem like darkrooms or slaughteries, mostly dirty, no toilet paper and with unexplained splashes of water (or real puddles) on the ground and around the sinks, as if someone washing their hands or puttingon makeup had to start a water fight.
  2. Micro Toilettes: often in small cheap restaurants, however small, temporary or fast food of dubious hygiene, in which you can barely enter. Maybe you’ll be able to squat doing contortionism as to not bump into the sink, all in the dark because after half an hour looking for  the light you gave up. Probably you’ll pee on your new boots. The scent of Verbena is included in the package. (And of course you’ll see the light switch coming out)
  3. Squat Toilettes: less common in USA maybe but usually you can find them in camping sites, in theory the more hygienic, actually nobody likes them (because you’ll probably pee on those new boots if you didn’t before)
  4. Fashion Toilettes: more and more often in trendy clubs are bathrooms which seem more design works ready for a cover of Architectural Digest. They would make you feel important just for the honor to wash your hands in such a great art masterpiece that you would never put in your own apartment but, heck, who conceived them had really great taste (and you will think so even though you’ll hate that toilette ‘cause it looks like an endless hall of fattening mirrors or the tropical jungle).Beautiful-restroom-design-public-toilet-interiors-14
  5. Grandma’s Toilettes: are those tiny cozy little bathrooms which usually are in small restaurants in the countryside or in B&B, furnished in detail, lavender fragrance, warm colors, a beautiful antique mirror and some pretty little pictures on the walls, the lovely lace curtains on the windows and the sink that does not work … but they’re so cute that you feel like you’re at grandma’s house!
  6. Last but not least the Fashion Toilettes Deluxe Version: those bathrooms located inside large boutiques of 5th Avenue or in the classy restaurants, you feel embarrassed more than important ‘cause in addition to the design work you will have someone who cleans 24 / 7 always around you and the inevitable Miss Towels ready to pass you a soft handkerchief or a mini towel to wipe your hands (which will make you feel forced to wash them even though you were not planning to because, actually, you went to the bathroom just to fix your clothes).

However, in any bathroom you need to enter, the key thing to remember is that probably there’s someone out who is waiting and no, they won’t hear the sound of your pee going down the toilet.