Sunday, October 22, 2006

a note on toilets

there's often not much to be said about public toilets other than "gross." new zealand is an exception. this is a country where there is a national competition for the best public toilet, a country that actually has a toilet that is a tourist attraction. here it seems that one can never be more than a few hundred meters away from a local loo, some of which are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. yes, a portion of these potties require some sort of cash payment in exchange for relief, but it is a small price (literally, at 40 cents). i will never understand how the incontinent survived in the toilet-starved new york cityscape, where if one wants to use a toilet that is not his own he must buy a soft drink or fries to go. new zealand by comparison is a toilet utopia. not only are facilities ubiquitous, but they are clean, or are at least cleaned frequently. they are always stocked with toilet paper and the soap dispensers are filled as often as they aren't. it's a comforting feeling as a traveller knowing that, when you need it, salvation is always just around the corner.

3 comments:

Emiko said...

you can tell a lot about a country with the relationship it has with it's public bathrooms. in japan, public bathrooms are everywhere as well. some nice and some not so nice. the weird thing about japan and it's bathrooms, or rather girl bathrooms is that here, when you enter a stall, there is this button that you can press, and it makes a flushing noise. apparently it is embarassing to have other people hear you peeing. i find this to be very strange. very strange... who are we anyway?? some form of gods?? we do not eat, nor do we pee... i am always curious, if the boy bathrooms have this too. so if and when you come here, you can let me know on the secret. and yes, these buttons were created because people would flush once before the deed, and once after the deed. wasteful. i have issues with this.

on another toilet matter, now there is a toilet with an aim for men... weird..

http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/en/news-12468-A+toilet+bowl+with+a+target,+but+Panasonic.html

also, akihabara, the geek central in japan created a super luxurious bathroom.

http://akiba.ascii24.com/akiba/news/
2006/10/16/665202-000.html
millions of dollars to build, and there's a reception where a girl welcomes you, and computers and fully airconditioned... very strange. owned by the city.. very very strange...

Shiny said...

I must compliment your fantastic use of alliteration in this entry, skipper:

...a portion of these potties require some sort of cash payment...

You must continue to report on all the shiny pay-potties and other NZ, rainbow-related-or-otherwise oddities.

Dad said...

I, too, enjoyed the literary quality of your public toilet discourse as well as emiko's social commentary. I am reminded of your sister, who while we all were touring southeast Asia, the Mid-East,and Europe on our final trip back from NZ in our effort to make you more worldly, turned her trip into a review of "bathrooms and stray cats around the world". A full and detailed description of every bathroom in every restaurant in which we ate and every cat should could find. Ah, but now thinking about it, your trip would be more aptly titled "Gameboy -- ascending the unreachable levels".