Bathroom Bizarre (Not for sensitive readers)

Loo, lavatory, restroom, WC, porcelain throne, what ever you want to call the toilet. This whole post will be TMI, and not very ladylike, but please read on if you can stomach it, this is all part of the experience. America has a very intimate relationship with their toilet, and everything associated with it. Don't say I did not warn you:

Over sharing
People are very quick to share with you everything about their bodily functions. Who can forget Dr.Oz on the Oprah show, discussing the shapes and sizes of healthy *poop*. Very few people hesitate to say poop. I remember my mother would scold us if we even mentioned the word toilet, let alone poep. Not here my friend, share and share alike.

Design
Loos differ in design all over the world, but here are the main differences between loos in South Africa, and in the USA:
In South Africa you have what I think the refer as a "reverse bowl" design. This basically means that there is a small hole and pool of water at the bottom of the bowl. It keeps the solid waste mostly out of the water until you flush and it takes everything away. The biggest advantages of this design is that there is very little, if any splash back, and you get to stay far away from what every you dropped down there. Good working toilets flush strongly and takes everything away and out of sight quickly. The disadvantage is the possibility of, uhm, residue.

In the US the "wash-down" design is preferred in most houses. This works as follows: solid waste is deposited into a bowl filled with water. When you flush this drains away down the hole, and then clean water pops back up through the same hole, ready for the next splash. The problem with this is that your bum is very close to the water, and splash back is imminent. It is also fully on display for your inspection. Lastly, in theory everything is supposed to drain down the whole, but very often it doesn't, and just pops right back up, or does not move at all. To avoid this you have to split your morning routine into 3 flushes, to make sure you don't give the lazy loo too much to do. Having a special plunger next to the throne, is essential. And I have used the plunger more in this one month, than during my entire 26 years in SA.

Photobucket
Public loo left, home loo right.

Public loos in the US seems to work better. Their flush system is more aggressive, when fully functioning, and sometimes even flushes automatically when you lift your gluteus maximus. Of course, when it does not work, as is the case with public facilities all over the world, it just does not work. The  positive is that they usually provide you with disposable seat covers. 

Medication
Oh my word. I have mentioned the advertising on TV here before, but here are the top 4 products: Fast Food, Cars, Lawyers and Medication. Specifically meds for depression and going to the loo. And I'm not talking about your awkward laxative ad showing a middle aged lady being thrown around on a picnic blanket, discreetly trying to tell you this products "makes you go" when you need to. Oh no, the product in question boldly announces its function: Stool Softener. Between all the car salesmen, lawyers and fast-food, I guess it is no wonder everyone is so full of ____

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