Sunday, May 23, 2010


I travel all over the world and the one thing I’ve learned for sure is that it really doesn’t matter how fat one is. What matters is how long one can go without peeing.
Nothing is worse in Europe than the excruciating pain of an overfull bladder and no toilet in sight. Even if you stumble on a toilet, if you don’t have a coin…you are screwed. The way it works is that you are supposed to find a coffee shop and buy a coffee as payment to use the facilities. This makes no sense as the coffee goes directly to one’s bladder and the cycle simply repeats itself.
On my trip to Europe this past April, I was searching frantically for a toilet on the streets of Barcelona and was unable to find one. Desperate, I ran into a museum that was twenty minutes from closing and threw 6 Euro at the ticket taker just so I could use the toilet. I bought a 6 Euro cup of coffee so I could pee in Santorini, Greece and a 6 Euro glass of bad wine to pee in Dubrovnik, Croatia in a camping potty behind a curtain on the edge of a cliff. Each time, it was money well-spent.
Some days I’d travel to some far off destination on a fancy motor coach with a toilet on board, BUT, the toilets are always locked, mocking you as you curse that one teeny sip of coffee that mostly you only smelled but didn’t drink for breakfast. I guess if management unlocked the toilet and let the passengers actually use them, then they would have to clean them which would increase their overhead! On a train ride to Rome, I needed to pee so desperately that I used the toilet at the end of the car. Unfortunately, the toilet locks itself at the train station when it is standing still and unlocks itself as it is hurling 80 kilometers an hour down the track. No wonder the walls and floors are sticky!!!
When I was lucky enough to find a toilet on my travels, the line reached to Jamaica! But only if you are a woman. The men never waited, something to do with the ease of not undoing a belt and the freedom of peeing standing up at a urinal. My husband was in and out in a flash and I spent most of my vacation in a cue at the “ladies room.” So ladies, this is the new rule. UNDO ALL YOUR CLOTHING FASTENINGS WHILE YOU ARE STANDING IN LINE. GO INSIDE THE STALL AND PEE. IMMEDIATELY EXIT THE STALL AND DEAL WITH YOU FASTENINGS OUTSIDE THE STALL. I’ve done the math. The fastenings add two minutes to each person in line.
And remember, really smart people make it a policy to never drink any liquids when traveling, no exceptions.

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