Check out this amazing youtube video in which Wilbur Sargunaraj explains the standard operating procedure for a toilet in India. Very very fascinating! Very very first class!
As I am a student at Wageningen University, I find that I am often expected to spend a considerable amount of time during the day on the university’s campus. Now there may not be anything wrong with that, in and of itself. However, the oftentimes irregular and therefore unpredictable nature of my—shall we say—“bodily functions”, necessitate that there be adequate facilities present on site where I may perform a stool evacuation. Or—as an American might put it—to “take a dump” on “the crapper”.
As everyone who has read my blog—or has been personally acquainted with me for any considerable length of time—knows, I have certain requirements for the public facilities in which such activities and subsequent ablutions may take place. And also that when I have information pertaining to the properties and location of aforementioned facilities, I share it with the world. I’m hopelessly altruistic like that. And that’s where this blog comes in again. For I have discovered that if one must go to the lavatory in the Forum building on the campus of the University of Wageningen, one of the best places to do so is on the eighth floor at the end of the hallway that is to the left when exiting the elevator.
There, on the eighth floor, you will find a main entrance to the gentlemen’s lavatories. Upon entering this door, you are faced with a choice of two water closets; One on the left and one on the right. And—contrary to every other toilet in the Forum building—each is a in fact a self-contained mini-bathroom.
The ceramic sanitation fixture is often very clean, particularly before lunch hour. The toilet paper is from Tork, there is no roll of paper but instead you will find a dispenser of individual tissues. The quality of the paper is intermediate; not the worst out there, yet certainly not the best either. There is a decent coat hanger, though installing an extra peg for bags and backpacks might have been wise. Alas, there is no mirror—a shameful oversight. You will however find that you have your very own washing basin and paper towels inside. The washing basin has a water tap with a timer that controls the duration of water flow from the tap. I dislike these systems, as I find the water is often cut off too quickly and I then have to press the button again and again to keep it flowing. I often give such taps one last press before leaving the bathroom, without using the water for anything. Just to spite whomever decided to install these horribly calibrated things.
In summary: an acceptable basic toilet, nothing special. Virtually guaranteed to be clean enough, when used before the “after-lunch” rush hour. Recommended if you have to “go” in the Forum building.
If there is one thing I cannot stand, it´s a filthy toilet, in a foul smelling lavatory, with empty soap dispensers. But when I am away from home, and the urge arises to evacuate my faeces, there is often little recourse but to visit a public establishment of some kind, order a coffee and visit their ´facilities´. But if it´s not clean, I can´t go. No way in hell.
Now I am certain that I am not alone in this matter and so I am going to be posting regularly about the number one places for doing your number two. This will be my humble contribution for the benefit of mankind, I urge you to use the information I provide responsibly.
One morning I found myself in serious and urgent need of a clean water closet, whilst on my way to the Acropolis, which I had intended to visit from the first day I arrived in Athens. It was a morning, around 7.45 AM. I was in the embassy neighbourhood, close to the Acropolis museum, and there were some little coffee bars in the area. Avoid these! The first clean looking one I entered had toilet seats that were yellow from urine stains. So I walked on…
As my despair grew, I said out loud ‘I wouldn’t mind paying the entrance fee at the Acropolis museum, if that gets me near a clean toilet.’ And then I thought, why not? So I just decided to wait untill 8 o’clock, when the museum opens, to go there for ‘the movement’. As it turned eight and the museum security opened the gates, I hastened towards the entrance. After entering the museum, I noticed a public toilet in the distance on the left. Realizing I wouldn’t have to buy a ticket to get there, my heart leaped with joy! Owing to the urgency of my condition, the manner in which I made my way to the facilities must have looked like I was taking part in a racewalking event. But I digress.
The toilet had just been cleaned. Flushing is automatic. After flushing, the pleasant aroma of flowers and forest (emanating from an automatic air freshener) greeted my nostrils. The soap dispensers were not empty. The whole lavatory was modern and clean. This is a very acceptable public toilet.
Oh, and the museum it’s attached to is also rather nice ;)