Monday, August 15, 2005

Prague station toilet

At Prague train station I left my friend watching my bag as I went off to find a toilet. After some extensive wandering I found one, and entered cautiously.

Inside, there was a table and chair where it seemed clear that I was supposed to pay. I looked around for somebody to pay, but the only person I could see was a fat woman banging on a toilet cubicle door and shouting angrily. I waited. Whoever was in there shouted back. Eventually the fat lady moved to another cubicle and opened it, peering in. Apparently satisfied, she closed the door again, turned, and saw me. She barked something and held out her hand.

I handed over some coins. She gestured me to wait, and I thought (but wasn't sure) that she also gestured at the gigantic roll of toilet paper hanging on the wall. Or... was it toilet paper? Maybe that was paper for drying your hands? I wasn't sure, and since she wasn't watching me anymore I quickly grabbed some and crumpled it up in my hand.

She went back to banging on the first cubicle door. While she was doing this a girl of about nine or ten sauntered casually out of the cubicle she had opened earlier. Then the door the fat lady was banging on opened, and a very thin, scruffy-looking teenager came out, yelling indignantly. She had multiple piercings, dirty hair, and bad skin.

The fat lady and the teenager hurled insults at each other for a while, waving their arms furiously. I shrunk back against the wall. The teenager left, and the fat lady opened the cubicle the nine-year-old had come out of, inspected it carefully, and waved me in.

I entered, somewhat tentatively. There was no lock on the door. Nor was there any toilet paper, so I uncrumpled the tightly wadded up paper in my hand.

I did my business as fast as possible, praying that the fat lady was not going to burst in on me. She didn't, but as I left the cubicle, she pushed past me into the cubicle, brandishing a mop.

I briefly considered being insulted, but instead decided to be grateful she had waited until I had finished.

I left, chastened.


Cheryl said...



Ms Mac said...

Oh my, that's some experience. I swear there is book just waiting to be written about experiences in foreigh public loos!

Carrie said...

Yikes!!! I wouldn't have had a clue what to do and probably woudln't have figured out to take some toilet paper first.

Lippy said...

Good heavens! I probably wouldn't have thought to grab wads of paper first either. You survived. All is good. Phew.

Librarianne said...