Thursday, October 14

14.Ottobre.2010 "Ode to a Public Bathroom"

I give your fair warning, this blog is a tad bit graphic and “angsty” but if you choose to proceed…enjoy!

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to one thing: the public restrooms of Italy. It might seem a little strange to devote an entire entry to this one thing but I seriously cannot figure them out. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to use public restrooms anyways but using the public restrooms here are like participating in an advanced yoga class every time you have you have to go! Here is a picture of what any bathroom in any bar, train station, or café will look like.  You might say, “…well Stina it is obvious that you have been going into the MENS room!” But  no, that is not the case.  Now I will give you a chance to figure out how a woman would have to contort her body to use such a device. Yes, it is similar to going to the bathroom in the wilderness, however instead of a nice forest floor you have a tile surface that is stained with the urine of thousands of people. I know gross, but it’s true! I just do not understand how, and if someone has any insight please let me know, how a person properly uses such a bathroom. I just think of the poor people with injuries or elderly people and how difficult it must be for them. Another thing is most of the time there is no toilet paper but merely a little hose, which I also do not understand, and you have to be pretty lucky to find a bathroom that is equipped with soap and paper towels for afterwards.  I’ve learned to deal with this by mainly only going to the bathroom at my house, and I’m fortunate to have a pretty good bathroom at our school, pictured is the best one that I could find.  But once again they rarely have toilet paper, soap or paper towels.  I’ve figured out a system that consists of carrying around Kleenex and hand sanitizer wherever I go, but I just had to share this with the world. J


  1. Raena Mueller-DahlOctober 14, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    Stina! I hear ya sister. I'm pretty sure India is famous for having this type of loo...unfortunately. Kleenex and hand sanitizer is the way to go! I always think that maybe everyone over here on this side of the world just happens to be more flexible....

  2. the bathrooms are awful in brasil as well! the main problem is that they never flush. i realized about a month in that you aren't actually supposed to put the toilet paper you use in the toilet bowl, but in the garbage. that or you don't use toilet paper at all, but a little hose, like you mentioned. i now am so grateful for the wonderful public restrooms in the u.s.!

  3. bahahaha. i am in class right now and honestly had to hide my face in my sweatshirt so the teacher wouldn't see me laughing. this would be funny with anyone but just cause its you its hilarious:) miss you!

  4. Stina,

    Hi, from Clare Weinberg. I just got your blog link from Jean, who was with me (yes, playing Shanghei) over at your grandmother's yesterday. It's really fun to read. I especially liked the piece about the toilets, which reminded me of my trips to Japan, where the toilets range from the hole-in-the-tile type in the train station to the ones that you need a week of special training to operate. Some of the fancier ones in Japan are equipped with a noise-maker device that goes shshshshshshsh to protect you from the embarrassment of someone else hearing your possible tinkly noises!

    Have fun and eat lots of gelato for me!


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  6. oh . . . my . . . god . . .
    can't you just hold it until you get back?

  7. There are bathrooms exactly like this in Thailand too. I've been here 3 months now and still managed to sucessfully avoid using one.