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Friday, June 8, 2012

Toilets and travelling...

Last year while DH and I went on our road trip in the US, I wrote a post on my observations of toilets we had visited. Now while on our recent trip to Victoria, I found I had enough 'material' to write another lot of observations about loos/restrooms. Here's how it all started....

We decided over breakfast at 'Brunches' cafe in Ballarat, that we would head off to the town of Bacchus Marsh to see what was there.
It was a cold and wet day and when we arrived we immediately went in search of a public restroom. There was actually one just across the road from where we parked the car in the main street. I was a bit suspicious as we approached this stainless steel monolithic building with its winking green light. It looked a bit high tech to me. I volunteered to go first. DH found the button that would open the door. It slid back effortlessly; I poked my head inside, looked around and then entered. A male voice with dulcet tones, requested that I not only shut the door but that I should also press the button which would lock the door. Once the door was locked, the voice announced that I had 10 minutes to use the facilities and then the music started; quite nice music too!

This 'inner sanctum' was spotlessly clean. On my left was a toilet made of stainless steel. To the right was the washing area set into the recess of the wall.

Firstly a sensor operated soap dispenser, in the middle a sensor operated a water tap and finally an air dryer. The toilet flushed when the tap came on in the washing area. I was really impressed with all the technology and I was chuckling at the novelty of it all, as I opened the door.

While DH used the rest-room, I went back to the car and got my camera :-) , so I could get a photo or two of this novel rest-room. It had been a pleasant surprise after my 'toilet' experience at Maldon Railway station a few days before.
The 'charming' loo at the Maldon Railway station

So when later in the day last Sunday, when we spied another one of these 'high tech loos' in St Kilda in Melbourne, there was no hesitation in using it. Oh was so different to the one back at Bacchus Marsh. It was filthy, graffiti covered the walls, there was no beautifully spoken male voice and no music. The paper is dispensed/rationed by pressing a button. It took me ages to get enough paper with which to clean the toilet seat before I would even think of sitting down.  Despite washing my hands, I still didn't feel clean and this time I didn't bother to get out my camera which was in my handbag. Oh well...these things happen when you travel around.


Dorothy said...

I wonder what happens after 10 minutes ?

olgavp said...

Dorothy, apparently after 10 minutes an alarm sounds and the doors open. Not sure if thats to ward off graffiti or for safety reasons but thats what I have been told.

Susan said...

Oh! I just read your above comments about the doors opening after 10 mins - definitely no navel gazing time allowed [wink]!!
Toilets do form an important part of travelling around Maria - I love your posts about them ;D)