After a trip to France several years ago, a friend asked me how it compared to our Italy trip the year before. "Much like Italy, only with better bathrooms," I told her.
When we were visiting Florence, we often found ourselves at the Piazza della Signoria on our way to get somewhere else. Not knowing where we might find our next bathroom, and knowing where the bathrooms were at Palazzo Vecchio, we usually popped in for good measure before continuing on our adventures.
The first time at this particular bathroom, I stood in a long line with several other women. We inched our way, one by one, toward the single-stall bathroom. When it was turn for the woman in front of me to go in, I got a peek into that stall.
I saw a hole in the floor, with slanted ceramic foot pads on either side of the hole before the door clicked shut in front of me. The question on my mind must have been visible on my face, because the British woman behind me said, "Last time I was in this line, an American woman turned to me when she saw the loo and said 'Oh my! Now is it ass to the door or ass to the window?' "
I was thinking along the same lines, is it toes tilted up or toes tilted down, but unfortunately, she did not bestow the answer upon me.
This month exploring New York City also involved many a public restroom, although with much more conventional plumbing.
But as with that Italian trip, I was often faced with a similar bathroom mystery. Are some users of public ladies' rooms thinking it's ass to the door?
I cannot tell you the number of times I walked into a bathroom stall this month, looked at the toilet seat, and thought, "how on earth did you get that there?" It became kind of a brain teaser--how must that woman have contorted her body to get that there, and wouldn't it have been kind of dangerous?
On our last night in Manhattan, over cocktails with friends, I began my rant about the state of New York City's bathroom stalls and said that I intended to blog about such state. They told me to be sure to include the quote from an unknown, wise most-likely woman: "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie."