his is all about latrines.
It is 2012.
As I was treated to an enjoyable visit to winery country in Hungary, I had the honour of spending the night in an old winery renovated as a little country inn. The inn keepers had vacated their very clean and cosy bedroom to allow me a single room with all the amenities.
It is usual in Europe to have the toilet in a very private little room, separated from the rest of the room, and this one was no exception. Behind the door was this toilet. Installing it there was an example of ingenuity, with a sink to wash your hands, and a little window for aeration. A very clean and private place. Looking at it, I understood how come French people call the latrine “Le trône” (the throne in French).
Getting up from toilet, I banged my head on the ceiling and carefully got down to check a gadget on the side of the toilet. Carefully manoeuvring the handle in two different positions, wondering how that could flush anything, I discovered the flushing button to push on the top of the water tank.
Keeping at a safe distance, as I was manoeuvring the handle at the side of the toilet, I remembered a friend explaining that in some hotels in Japan, one could find two buttons to push on the toilets: one to clean men’s bottoms, and one to clean women’s bottoms. Apparently the spray is a little different.
I can well imagine my reaction had I activated the gadget while still sitting on the toilet, a gush of ice cold water hitting my “derrière”. I would have hit the ceiling, that is for sure!
Back in Canada, as I was explaining my discovery during lunch, my friend explained she saw one like that a few years ago while vacationing in Mexico. There was one like that in one of her friends’ hotel room. After having used the facility, very adventurous in nature, and wondering what this was all about, face almost right into the toilet to check things out, she activated the gadget and got everything sprayed right into her face….