Using The Restroom Is For Regular Readers Only

Imagine yourself walking through a mall. You have been shopping for ages and your steps are getting smaller. It’s not only that you’re getting tired, but there’s another pressing issue: your bladder. The giant soda you had before has now found its way to the Mexican border of your body and is eager to flow towards freedom, only stopped by your endless effort to control movement. There’s a good chance you would consider paying for a bathroom break by now, but as you’re not in Europe, you just walk into any McDonald’s and go for nothing instead.

Translated: 50 cents per visit, or 2 euros for the whole day.

That’s right, the people who claim to have invented capitalism are missing opportunities here. Those socialistic bathrooms that anyone can just use are a relevation in crowded malls and other areas. Also, if you’re Dutch and wondering how restaurants would ever make money if people can just walk in and use their toilet, consider this: if you sit down to eat somewhere, you’ll most likely get a huge glass of water, ruining your appetite for all other drinks. This glass is also free of charge. Yes, my dear American readers, I normally pay for both the input and output of my water. Maybe it’s the nice Missourians, maybe it’s my delightful appearance, but whenever I’m paying my visits to Missouri, I save money on both processes. And to be fair, I’m more than okay with that.

How much would you be willing to spend on a bathroom break?

Why on earth do people still drink soda if they can drink water for free?

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13 thoughts on “Using The Restroom Is For Regular Readers Only

  1. We are definitely spoiled here in the USofA. Here’s a photo I took from when I was in London a couple of years ago… http://americashelley.shutterfly.com/3954 I was willing to pay at least 30p. I think one time I paid 2 shekels at the Dead Sea to use a bathroom. I think there was an additional charge for toilet paper. Oy. And, to answer your question… I mostly only drink water (well, and coffee…)

    • Funny how you noticed it, too. At first I thought it was a Dutch thing, but there’s noo peeing in Europe for free anywhere. Paying extra for toilet paper is really weird though. I’ve never seen that.

      • I agree. Toilet paper, I found, was a real treat in the Middle East. At least, in the places we visited in Israel/Egypt. Before I went on my trip, somebody gave me a roll of toilet paper. I laughed at them. It turned out to be the best travel gift…EVER.

      • Paying extra for toilet paper in Europe/USA is strange, but I’ve been in situations in Africa and Asia where I would have paid a lot for some (decent) toilet paper…

        On the highways in Germany you’ll pay €0.70 for a toilet visit but you can use the receipt to get €0.50 of a purchase – a few years ago it was €0.50 for €0.50…

  2. It is a little funny that pay toilets haven’t happened here…but I’m also pretty sure it would result in a lot of anger because it’s just not a thing on any real scale in the US (not that I’ve experienced, anyway). At this point I think the transition from a free necessity to a pay service would have to be prompted by some sort of extenuating circumstances that I can’t even imagine.

    And if I’m going to be honest, my reaction upon first experiencing the joy of the pay toilet during my visit to Europe was that it seemed a little mean to charge for something that’s really just a basic necessity in any developed country.

    (Of course, every continent has its quirks.)

  3. Lots of “peeing for free” in the Philippines. They just turn their back.

    Some toilets (in malls) in the Philippines require a nominal fee. It’s usually the nicer malls and on the ground floor (if you’re game to go higher up, it’s free). Tissue is usually not available except in 5-star hotel lobby restrooms. In some malls, though, there is a vending machine.

    On the other hand, many places here have no restroom at all, or else they are filthy and substandard for an expat. Even still, paying for a restroom annoys us as Americans since all our lives, bathrooms have been a free service provided by stores, restaurants and ever gas stations. Even for non-customers. We grew up to expect them and to expect them to be free just like public parks, I guess. I keep joking about the nickel-and-diming done on airlines now, that the next thing will be pay toilets =)

    Lately, because of the homeless problem in Southern California, many fast food restaurants have locked restrooms. You have to ask for a token at the counter to get one, the idea being that the restroom is free, but only for customers. But in reality, it’s more a profiling technique.

    People (er… Americans) drink Coke instead of water because it’s addicting. Water, although necessary for life, is not.

    • Aggie #1 is using the outhouse when a queartr falls from his pocket into the pit.He moans and gnashes his teeth to Aggie #2 about the loss, then turns around and tosses a 20 dollar bill into the pit. Why did you do that? Aggie #2 asks. You don’t think I’m going in there for just a queartr! Aggie #1 answers.

  4. Love your blog! It’s so fun to read about things that we take for granted (like free toilets) through a different lens. And I agree with you, I very rarely pay for beverages, and when I want a soda, I share one with the husband since most places give free refills.

    • Free refills! Are you kidding? I bet that’s half the reason you’re celebrating independence now. Me and miss Missouri get sodas every now and then, at a gas station for 70 cents, only to throw away half when the road trip has ended. Welcome, hope you’ll enjoy my future posts as well 🙂

  5. Oh my. You are right. Why WOULD anyone pay for a soda (mostly syrup) when a free glass of water is available.

    In the tourist areas in Cuba, there are western toilets but at the airport, I found the usual ‘hole in the ground’. Also, in Cuba, although toilet use is free, save your napkin because you won’t find paper in the cubicle. Wish someone had warned me but I learned FAST!

    • Ahhh, the hole in the ground. The French love that one too. I believe it is found to be more hygienic, as you hover over any bacterias. Be that as it may, I don’t think it should be the way a civilised society handles bodily necessities.

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