Ils ne sont pas propres...

Some people can't use the bathroom in public places. It's like a phobia or something. I like to think of it as purely lack of experience.

How can anyone lack experience going to the bathroom? Well, it's not the act/s I'm referring to, it's the locations in which the act/s is/are performed.

I think growing up in third world countries taught me that "when you gotta go, you go wherever you can"; and, to consider it lucky if said place has walls, a door, a floor, a toilet, toilet paper, running water, etc. Really if just one of all the above exists, count your blessings.

Personally I prefer the squatters, or a simple hole in the ground/behind a bush because you don't have to touch anything. And actually, I think I read somewhere that women empty their bladders better from that angle/position than from just sitting upright on a commode?

Where the hell is this coming from? I promise I don't just sit around thinking about bodily functions and where they happen.

I spent all night at CHU Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital in Paris with a student. As you can imagine, in the many hours I was there, sitting, watching, waiting, I had to visit the WC...

My first visit was actually in the toilettes of les chambres des urgences. As he directed me to the WC, the nurse said, "j'espere qu'ils sont propre."

They were not "propre". Think of any substance one could excrete, including the essence of life pumping through our veins, and you'll have a vague idea of what welcomed me. The metallic toilet bowl was the "cleanest" part of the room. Did I notice the disgusting view? Of course I did, I tweeted about it sans photograph (you're welcome). But the main thing I noticed was that there was toilet paper. #WhatABlessing. And that it was actually on a roll attached to the wall, not on the floor soaking up things-we-shall-not-mention.

Generally I practice two things when it comes to public restrooms:
  1. Before entering the "area" I immediately stop breathing through my nose so as to avoid any unnecessary smells from entering my nostrils. I think this started at an early age from when I used to vomit any time I got in a moving vehicle. I still practice this when I start to feel motion sick, but I vaguely remember as a child despising the smell of cars and associating that (the smell, not the actual motion sickness) with my reason for vomiting.
  2. I always carry a small packet of tissues in my purse, or a paper napkin, just in case. Mom taught me this one.
I am positive my experience in the emergency room toilets would have been far worse had my sense of smell absorbed the sight. Furthermore, had I been in practice of rule #2 above, my second experience, in the toilettes dans la salle d'attente (waiting room), would have been even better.

Alas, there are those moments in a woman's life when she must practice the drip/shake and just go with it.

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