Welcome to the wonderful world of my water closet memoirs. This is one of those “taboo” topics and I just happen to be an expert on it – frequenting public bathrooms. This series will include stories from other countries and stories from South Africa and I’m kicking it off with The Netherlands. That being said, get ready for some sometimes humorist and sometimes embarrassing posts about restrooms from different places I’ve been!
The Netherlands was the first country I traveled to that isn’t just across our South African boarder and with all of the excitement, wondering about the state of their public bathrooms was never high on my list. Until I had to find one. I. really. had. to. find. one. Now if you are South African you are probably used to going to the mall for some shopping and then popping off to the restroom whenever you need to go – that one that is conveniently located in the mall itself, you know what I’m talking about right? Nope not in the Netherlands!
The mall we frequented doesn’t have a restroom for shoppers, when you need to go you either need to slip into the Burger King if you want to use one free of charge, but be weary, they might ask you to leave if you are not eating there. The second choice is to keep 20 and 50 euro cents on your person at all times, you are going to have to pay to go. Yes guys, you are going to pay between R5 and R7 just to use the ladies (…or mens)
The one perk about paying to go is that it was always clean, many restrooms even has someone that wipes the seat after each person and sprays some toilet spray. It was however a little awkward having someone just hovering around the bathroom waiting for you to come out. This might cause performance anxiety for some.
The lack of freely available public bathrooms isn’t isolated either to the one specific mall, this is everywhere. I remember needing to go in Amsterdam near the red light district, I ended up waiting in line and paying to use one in the MacDonald’s….oh the shame.
If you have any funny or embarrassing public bathroom stories, please do share! I hope I am not alone…