The public toilet in Manchester Airport near gate 49

When I recently made a trip to the United Kingdom, I traveled via Manchester Airport. Whilst waiting to board my return flight, I happened to be suffering from a bout of diarrhea. I would say the evacuated item might be classified somewhere around type 6 on the Bristol stool scale, if I had to guess.


I had just had a relaxing coffee and was waiting near my gate when I suddenly became urgently aware of the cheek-clenching need to find a lavatory. I dashed for the nearest public toilet, which happened to be located near gate 49. I entered and found a rather small restroom, with only a few water closets available on the left. I entered the last one on the farthest end as all the others were occupied. Closing the door, I realize that it’s one of those half open ‘johns’ where you can just pass the toilet paper underneath the wall to your neighbor if necessary, or look under the door to see if anyone’s inside doing their business. I believe these are called ‘toilet cubicles’.


The main characteristic of such toilets is that everyone can hear everything. And if there’s one thing you absolutely do not want, it’s that everyone can hear everything! Thankfully, the restroom was outfitted with electric hand dryers instead of paper towels. Being located near an airport gate meant it was quite busy, so the hand dryers were constantly whirring away. I used this fact together with some well-coordinated sphincter control to obfuscate my ‘movement’ as much as possible, to minimize the awkwardness. It was also a rather cramped space, too small to my liking. On a positive note, the door at least had a coat hook which I think is an absolutely essential thing to have in a public toilet.


After flushing the toilet, I notice there is no toilet odor neutralizer, or masking perfume. The best public toilets have an automated system for that, but this was evidently not a very good public toilet. And let me assure you, dear readers, that if ever there was a time when it was most necessary to have such a system, it was that morning around 8.30. Thankfully there was plenty of soap, but oddly enough the air from the hand dryer wasn’t hot. Not very comfortable, since that will make your hands feel cold. The last thing we all need on this earth is to discourage people from washing their hands after a visit to the toilet.


In summary, avoid this toilet if you can. I think I would even have preferred to use the lavatory on the plane instead of this one.