A Sensitive Topic of Conversation

Oddly enough, we have wanted to broach this subject ever since our return to the States. One of the things about traveling to different parts of the world is dealing with various bathrooms and the attitudes towards them. Obviously, this is a topic that make some people uncomfortable, but there are times when it is good to know what to expect before you go rather than being surprised, or perhaps even startled, once you get there.

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The Spa Tub in Rome

In the United States, restrooms are usually tucked away in obscure locations, not to be seen and the expectation is that they are clean and there is an element of privacy. When spending time in Europe, you learn to let a little of your modesty go. The water closets are not usually spacious and don’t be surprised if the door opens to a full view of the bathroom with no obstruction for the guests outside. Occasionally you will have unisex bathrooms with private stalls, but a single washroom area. Since they are often retrofitted into older buildings, they are often small and awkwardly laid out. There will also sometimes be a bathroom attendant who collects tips although they rarely actually keep the area clean.

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Eco Lodge in Bolivia – Looks can be Deceiving

That being said, the restrooms of Europe are nothing compared to those that you see when you travel to less modern parts of the world. Walking into a bathroom in India can lead you to the surprise that there is a hole in the ground and there is no toilet paper. There is a reason for the etiquette protocol that you don’t eat or shake hands with your left hand. We learned early on that we need to always carry tissues or a small roll of toilet paper with us when traveling places. In Bolivia, we stopped at place on our way to Lake Titicaca to use the restroom and were charged a dollar to once again for the use of a hole in the ground.

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Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Bathrooms or Outhouses, which poses a bit of a challenge since we don’t usually take photos of bathrooms. We have, occasionally, taken some pictures at the hotels where we have stayed when the bathroom has been especially nice.

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Check Out the TV in the Mirror 🙂

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8 Responses to A Sensitive Topic of Conversation

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Wonderful entry for this week. Thanks for playing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually, when I moved to the US from the UK I was srprised that the public rest rooms had so little privacy! In the UK the partitions are (or were), floor to ceiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lexklein says:

    In both Asia and the Nordic countries, I was surprised (and annoyed!) by the bathrooms that were either completely open to the bedroom or walled off only by glass. I really do not enjoy using the toilet or showering in full view of my travel mates, even though one was my daughter and one my sister. We had a whole plan whereby the non-bathroom user went to the lobby for some computer or reading time! Of course, they probably thought we were overly modest and silly, but that’s just not our habit. We learned quickly to look at all the hotel photos carefully before booking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ralietravels says:

    Having grown up in an orphanage and then in the military, privacy was not as much an issue, but I do like the area around the hole to be clean. The worst we encountered was in Istanbul where the floor was covered in water.

    Liked by 1 person

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