Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

The Fears of Travelling.

This is not a profound post, but I'm just wondering
if I'm the only one out there in my travels that has fears.
It's bad enough when you are in a strange country
and you have to conquer the language skills.
So you try to speak in a half-broken German/English accent:
And you still don't get the message across.

One of my hurdles was trying to find washrooms.
The first thing I learned is that I needed to pay money to use these facilities.
So I ran into the first McDonald's and was chased out to find
my Queen, who would always give me the right change.
So, I decided to tag along closer to Ursula/Anke
because they new the country's regulations.
Has anyone else heard of needing money to use the toilets?
Do travel books give us this info?
It became a phobia for me.

Secondly the signage is unbelievable.

Does this mean, Men or Women?

What does this mean? Women or Men?

When you are in a rush for the facility,
you don't want to ponder to long....

I don't know how many times I walked into a station
to find a man standing there.
Of course, I was totally embarrassed and excused myself...

Now this past weekend in Whistler,
I'm on home ground territory,
again, I go rushing for the washroom...
making sure I have checked the signage.

I walk in...

There's a Man!

Oh, my goodness, I'm beginning to loose it.
I said, "Oh, excuse me, I think I'm in the wrong room."
"No, Mame, I'm just cleaning the ladies room."

The worst case was in Vienna.
We're in a taxi rushing back to get to the cruise line
to meet the 6:00pm deadline.
Meanwhile we've been stuck in rush hour
which ate up all our spare time.
(As you know, they don't wait for you at the cruise lines.)
But meanwhile, one member of our tour
needed the facilites. ASAP!

So we asked the cab driver to STOP!
He had no clue what we were saying.
He just smiles..."You be on time."
He kept driving..and we passed gas stations.
Finally, we started getting impatient.

We used the word, TOILETTEN, Cloe, Bathroom, Sick
He did not understand.

Again, we're all shouting "
STOP, STOP, STOP! SICK, Toiletten.
We then found out, that he had been a taxi driver
for 17 years in Vienna, but could not speak German.
He did not even know where to take us to our Cruise Line Destination.

Sorry, I have no pictures for some of these stories.
Unfortunately the paparazzi was not allowed to escort
those needing urgent facilities.

Moral of the story is, always be prepared when you travel.
Have a dictionary, get the right coinage, make sure your
taxi driver has a clear understanding of the language,
and don't be Russian around for bathrooms.

Don't forget to take a sense of humor
along and keep the journey light-hearted.

Have a great day!


  1. Oh wow Marg, this would be a problem for me. . when I wannna go .. I wanna go. . shoot. how horrific. ..
    the signage is cute. . unless of course the men in that country are like many north american men where the widest part would be through the center. . .hmmm. very confusing.

  2. Oh yes...the washroom facilities in Europe are pay as you go! Except in Switzerland...where the men don't seem to think they need facilities other than the roadside.

    I've done the wrong door thing before...the worst part is trying to make an inconspicuous exit!

  3. AnonymousJune 09, 2008

    Wow What a story! I'm still laughing. You are such a good story teller, Marg. However, it must have been very frustrating as well. Dairymary

  4. Oh dear..

    we use to have to pay in malls and stores here. But that was many years ago. I do appreciate a clean restroom when travelling.

    I remember our trip to Italy many years ago...yikes - bathroom horrors!

  5. AnonymousJune 09, 2008

    I would never survive. I almost always wait until the situation is desperate. I guess I would learn to be smart.

  6. Oh Marg! This was hysterical!

    Next time take a trip to Ireland -- they speak English for the most part and most public bathrooms are free. :=)

    I know I encountered a few puzzling bathrooms in Italy -- no seat, no paper -- just a hole in the ground! I learned to hold it a lot while there!

  7. Ah yes. Bathrooms. There aren't any in Jakarta, Indonesia. In other areas of Indonesia, you wish there weren't. Just holes in the cement. Oh, and bridges for the men.

    Once in a jungle village, I asked about the outhouse and was directed to a clump of bushes. "Here?" I asked. "Yes, there," was the reply. Well, you know the saying, "When in Rome...."

    You're right. We need to keep our sense of humor and a spare roll of TP with us when we travel.

  8. Funny, funny, funny! The Germans do so love to put signs everywhere, but the broad shoulder MENS and broad hipped WOMEN sure is a puzzler to us who are used to North American snake hipped people of both genders.
    Having a "pense on me to pee" rule in England: I caught on to it right away!

    I fear traveling as I get older only because bathroom break needs seem to come on more rapidly and urgently. I'm just not ready to travel in an adult diaper, but I have a friend who says it is a life saver while sightseeing...aaaggghhhhh! Another older friend went to Spain, noting that rather than use the bathrooms, she would just wait until she returned home and would just schedule surgery to correct the internal damage. She might have had a good idea there actually.

  9. I could certainly relate to this post for many reasons. After having given birth to four children, my bladder ain't what it used to be. Plus there is the age factor, I guess. When I have to go, I have to go! My biggest concern when traveling to India was the bathroom situation. Fortunately I usually could find both 'eastern' and 'western' type toilets. Many men in India seemed comfortable just going wherever. I didn't even bother bringing one pair of my sandals back home with me because I was stepping through lots of puddles and it hadn't rained out. I did find out that Charmin' toilet paper company makes convenient travel packs - and I now keep one in my bag - no matter where I am traveling.


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