On Travel & Toilets

Here is a little humor for your weekend.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about poop. I know that sounds strange, but when I travel  it’s one of the things I always worry about. Where exactly am I going to go? If you are like me and you have travel induced shyness in your digestive system…..not being able to GO is a really big deal. So here’s the info I have gleaned so far about Travel & Toilets.

In America we are very spoiled. We all have indoor plumbing (except for those very few who live off the grid) with privacy, soft cushy toilet paper and even bum wipes if we need them. Everything goes in the bowl and flushes nicely away from any conscious thought. We can sit, relax, have a break, do everything we need – no worries. You can find a toilet anywhere…..gas stations, restaurants, department stores, parks and even a well placed porta potty will do in a pinch. Americans – spoiled indeed

In Austria, you have to pay to poop! On an overseas trip last year I was very surprised to  be greeted by a harsh metal turnstile wanting me to deposit some Austrian change (about 50 cents I later learned) to enter the bathroom! What the? I have to PAY to go? No WAY! Don’t you people know that I’m an American and I’m used to being pampered and coddled when I need to go? Luckily I was able to duck under the turnstile and enter the bathroom under the radar. Yes I am probably wanted in Austria for bathroom rule breaking! I’m a rebel!

In Mexico and Belize you can poop for free – YAY! BUT you cannot flush your toilet paper…….that’s right…..I’ll let that sink in for a minute……if you have to poo….and you wipe…..the paper goes in a trash bin next to the toilet….not into the toilet. This takes A LOT of getting used to. I cannot tell you how many times I forgot – being a pampered American – to put my paper in the trash.

And Finally on a boat the bathroom is a whole different story. It’s free – YAY. Toilet paper also goes into a trash bin because you do NOT want a plugged head (that’s boat term for toilet) on a boat. But the kicker on a boat is that you have to pump your poo. Yep, you have to pump the toilet manually so that the contents move from the bowl down into a holding tank. The really gross part is that somewhere offshore – at least a mile – we then open the tank and let all the waste flow out into the ocean – that is the SOP – Standard Operating Procedure. Which is just icky…I mean, I know our waste all gets treated in one way or another and finally ends up in the water somewhere but to be so connected to the dumping of it is just…..well…..ewwwwwww.

So, the next time you get to walk into the bathroom for free, turn on an electric light, in a temperature controlled room, sit in peace and quite,  and flush everything down the pipes without a care or thought take a moment to be grateful and thankful that we as American’s love our toilet time and have built a mighty fine sewer system. We can be spoiled but grateful and keep in mind that if you decide to travel not everyone treats toilet time the same as we do.

Totally unrelated photo of my daughter and her cat!

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