Yesterday I asked a question of etiquette on Facebook that flushed out some fairly adamant and, at times, surprising responses. But I felt like I didn’t come anywhere close to reaching my toilet humour potential. Nor did I get the chance to fully explore the extent of my knowledge of thunderbox synonyms.
When you move to a new country, it’s the subtle differences that you notice the most at first. The little, everyday things that you don’t really pay attention to at home because they’re familiar and the way things should be.
For me it was the bogs. Be they of the public variety, or the ones in the privacy or your own apartment, they’re all just colluding to freak you the hell out.
To start with they’re between half and three-quarters full of water at all times. That seems to be slightly too close for comfort to me. Sure, it’s all perspective, but sitting on the lav makes you feel awfully close to the ocean and the frightening potential for splashback. You’re very welcome for that mental picture.
The shape of the bowl and seat are mind boggling. Step into The Oval Office and the throne (I could have gone with Resolute desk but it just doesn’t sound right) is exactly that – oval. What’s wrong with circles? Who is responsible for the design of the toilet seat? And why didn’t s/he deem it necessary to fork out for the small amount of plastic molding required to close off the circle/oval? Maybe American women are just all-round better people than I am, but for the life of me, I cannot achieve a hover over those damn things.
In public toilets they give you paper seat covers for hygiene purposes presumably. Look people, I hardly want to touch the door locks (that’s a whole other thing), and you want me to place a piece of paper on a grotty turdis and plonk myself down on it? Uhh… no thanks.
|I can see you… don’t look at me!|
I like my privacy and personal space. In queues, I purposely leave at least a metre between me and the person in front, at the gym I use the bike furthest away from everyone else in the room, so it stands to reason that I quite like my trip to the facilities to be private. Unfortunately the stall door engineers didn’t take this into consideration. Anywhere. There are large gaps between the doors and the walls. I’m talking big enough for you to accidentally cop an eyeful as you’re walking past an occupied stall.
The locks are not very comforting either. I’m used to the kind of latch that turns all the way and you can see the lock mechanism engage. But not in the US. Turn that knob and you might see a tiny button pop out to slot into the door jamb. It feels like a gust of wind could blow that thing open at any second.
And then there’s the bathroom etiquette. I’ve noticed this mostly at work. People will use the bathroom stall as a personal cubicle to conduct their life from. I’ve heard numerous phone conversations, soundtracked with some ambient tinkling, I’ve overheard people watching YouTube how-to videos and I’m fairly sure that one woman was on a conference call in there.
|A grown person did this. NOT COOL PEOPLE!|
They take their laptops and tablets in with them. There’s also someone in the office who pulls out ALL the seat covers from the dispenser and scrunches them up on the floor next to the loo. How old are these people? I ask this specifically because there’s a lot of wee on the floor. And sometimes other things.
Thank God for copious amounts of hand sanitizer. I miss you Australia.
Linking up with Denyse Whelan, for Life This Week – My favourite post of 2016. What can I say? I’m all about bathroom humour.