Bathroom. Convenience. Oubliette. Facility. Water Closet. Services. Powder Room. Little Boys’ and Girls’ Rooms.

How do people handle matters relating to the other end of the alimentary canal? For instance: What do they call that room in their language? (If there is one – in one place I visited, when I asked to use a restroom, two people got a sheet of corrugated metal and held it upright. Voilá! bathroom!) What is the toilet made out of? How many seats does it have? (The Romans had some interesting horse-shoe-shaped communal arrangements built over wee canals, and let’s not forget the Sears Catalog of yore, when you could order the 2- or 4-seater). How far off the ground is the toilet? How do you flush it, and what’s the longest it’s ever taken you to figure out how? (And how long before the whole world adopts the clever #1 vs #2 Flush option?) Is the soap (if there is any) on the other side of the door, leading you to wonder what colonies are living on the inner door handle? And what is the attitude towards paper products? Do you pay good money for a single piece of t.p. or paper towel, or are you able to grab giant fistfuls of paper to pat your hands dry? Well, enough from me. I welcome your stories.

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Denise Hill

In South America, the Existentialism rendering is appropriate. The “paper” (I use this word rather loosely) goes in the trash can. Would not want to fill up the hole too fast.