Friday, 21 August 2009

Toilet got gold ah!?

Everyday, when we need to use the public loo outside, it is a perennial frantic silent prayer that the toilet will be clean/dry, has toilet paper, flush is working, and does not smell. This is because in most cases, at least one of the above conditions is sure to be missing.

In many of the public toilets in Singapore's new shopping malls or commercial buildings or hotels, they are generally splendidly clean and luxurious. Some even have smartly dressed attendants serving you hand wipes. On the other hand, the older buildings, run-down or smaller shopping malls' toilets usually have an elderly aunty guarding outside the toilet, with a sign on her counter "20 cents per entry". These elderly aunties (sometimes doubled as the toilet cleaning lady and sometimes eating a packet of rice at the same time) often grudgingly mumbled "20 cents" if you "forget" to drop the coins at her counter or if you were too urgent that you whizzed passed her without paying. Often the condition of these older toilets was horrible, smelly, flush spoilt, wet toilet seats / floor etc... AND we had to pay 20 cents! At times like these, my mind was thinking "TOILET GOT GOLD AH!!??" We pay for the use of toilet yet it is not even well-maintained. Instead, the 5-star hotels or middle/high-class shopping malls' toilets are FOC!!! Such irony!
I remember in my number of trips to China years back, the condition of their public toilets was a culture shock to me. In most suburban places and sometimes cities, you had toilets like this which were so stinko and wet that you had rather "control" your bladder. If you had no choice but to go, it was so open that everyone sees you doing your business. So having an opened umbrella was extremely useful.
In the same breath, I would like to compliment the toilets in Australia, which are often squeaky clean, no matter in any cities or villages or some out of the way places. I was very impressed that they maintain toilets so well - nice-smelling, dry and clean.

I think men have it the easiest because they can "go" anytime, anywhere. And with an urinal like this, the motivation is you have girls gleefully lustfully gawking down at you.
But even if you are a man, would you dare to use this public toilet?  It is actually an art installation of a public sculpture by artist Monica Bonvicini featuring a fully functioning prison toilet inside a cube made of one-way glass.
This toilet sure will not smell, because it is open air. So open yet discreet. If they install these openly in say, Orchard Road, I think they may just become a white elephant redundant art piece.  And probably they will put the Singa Lion next to it. o_O
Holy Moley! The people in Chong Qing, China, has gone a step further with holy urinal. Even your piss can be blessed!  
They don't believe in closing toilet doors in Mexico. More airy when doing business, I suppose, and not forgetting, smell is "dispersed".
So grand this public toilet booth in Malaysia, it has a Toilet Receptionist Sanitation Officer on hand to help, with flowers at counter, complete with two ladies in traditional sarong kebaya as guards (they are not mannequins, by the way). Hope they enjoyed good loo business. 
I was in the Roman city of Ephesus in Turkey appreciating the ruins when we chanced upon this public urinal made of marble where Roman guys used in the old days.
As the story goes, the men used to accompany their wives to the marketplace nearby, and lied to their wives they would be at the library. Then from the library (above photo), the men went by a secret tunnel which led to a brothel nearby, had their fun, then they proceeded to the urinal and bath house afterwards to relax.
Since when has peeing become a show of public display?
This time-saving mobile bike is so useful to pee / sit in. Anytime, folks.
For the workaholic in us, this would be ideal, cushy leather seat, computer and telephone (then again, who needs them as we have netbook/mobile nowadays...). Nonetheless, good for an upset stomach though...
For the even busier corporate executive / boss, it is nothing like your own personal mobile urinal seat, complete with toilet paper, newspaper and shaver.
And if you still have the appetite afterwards, you can try this restaurant in Taiwan, serving piping hot meals in, what else, toilet bowls!
TGIF! Have a nice weekend!

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