Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Beauty of Travel

Travel is a beautiful thing, you get on an immense metal bird machine that is capable of trasporting you in a matter of hours to a whole new world, new people, things, sometimes even a different language. It is amazing and awesome. I like travel and love to travel. So here I am in London, wandering around, exploring a city that I a quite fond of. Observing the differences between here and where I live, the good the bad and the ugly. I tipped over to Holland by boat too, and even thought that foray was 3 hrs away by boat, another world of difference there. First thing I notice in London, toilets, toilets everywhere. It is bliss for a shopper. One can actually find a bathroom to use and if one is not in a store or shopping center well they're always nice clean ones you can pay to use. Why do other countries, especially the so called old guard countries; have it together on this toilet issue. Wandering around in NY you might be hard pressed to find a public toilet, and God forbid you've to ask to use at the nearby KFC or McDonald's - well let the curse of the Gods befall you for even thinking this! You shouldn't be surprised to see notices posted at restaurants and fast food joints in NY declaring - "Restrooms for Customers Only" of course this declaration is usually made in the various forms of a now butchered English language.

The attitude is "don't even think about it!" you're on your own, walk around, do the pee pee dance and whatever. It is not strange either to see streams running from walls of that familiar color and not know if it was from a human or dog reliveing itself. Shameful - in this most advaced city, bathrooms, only for those who patronize businesses all others can go against a wall, behind a tree or well I guess just pee yourself if you're not lucky to have a gym membership for you to pop into a chain. And make no mistake, these public toilets are impecable! Clean, fresh and smelling quite ok.

The one that blew my mind was the one where one pops in the 50p coin, door slides open and boom, a toilet big enough to kick your legs up in. Door closes with the press of a button and you've 20mins to do your biz! I think that these are periodically cleaned throughout the day so no messy mess or suprises upon entering. Holland is a little advanced with 2 sliding glass doors opening futeristically after popping 20cents in. The bathrooms there are more fool proof on collecting their dues than the public transportation, where a free ride on a train, bus or tram is as common as well - Equal sugar at Starbucks.


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