If you'll pardon the lowering of the tone (and there are very few places where what I'm about to say wouldn't lower the tone, and I'm pretty sure that the ones where it doesn't are not really places that people like you or I would tend to frequent)..... it never fails to amaze me quite how disgusting the gents toilets can be.
I'm not talking about those dank squat affairs that you still occasionally find in places like rural France, South America or Africa. Oh no. When you're travelling somewhere remote, a disgusting toilet is pretty much par for the course. After all, hard though it may be to believe, there are still many toilets in the world which aren't systematically cleaned on an annual basis, nevermind on a twice daily basis, and one or two don't have access to fresh running water. I know! No, I'm talking here about the toilets in the head office building of a large, very well known and, you'd imagine, pretty cleanly company. People around here don't generally wear flip-flops and sarongs and have large back packs and horrible dirty white man's dreadlocks; they have neatly cut hair and tend to wear stiff-collared shirts, smart trousers and, more often than not, a tie. There isn't a shortage of clean, running water here. In fact, we have hot and cold running water on demand, and all of the toilets around here are connected to the sewage main and have flushes and everything. There's soap too, and occasionally those little pineapple cubes of bleachy freshness.
So how come they're so disgusting? And they are, let me tell you, utterly revolting. What does it say about the men who work here that we allow these toilets to get into such a state, even when they are all cleaned twice a day? I can understand that, how to put this, sometimes things can come out at an unexpected angle, but I fail to see how that would mean that you might miss a urinal entirely and spray the products of your mecturation all over the wall tiles and the floor. And why spit your chewing gum out into the drain? And am I the only man who doesn't feel the urge to pick my nose whilst standing at the urinal? Is there some kind of unspoken rule that the product of this nasal exploration should be smeared onto the wall next to where you stand?
It's even worse in the cubicles. Is it too hard to lift the toilet seat up before having a piss, or is it no big deal to spray your mark all across the seat and the floor? Is it really? And if you are planning a, shall we say, longer stay, is it really asking too much that you might consider flushing, or even that you might pay a bit of attention to where you are leaving your deposit (no, trust me, the seat is not the right place)? Is it wrong of me to expect that anyone leaving a cubicle might pause to wash their hands with the soap provided before heading back out into the office where they presumably then smear their microscopic particles of shit across everything that they touch? Or that, actually, a small smattering of water sprinkled on your hands after pissing is not really the same thing as spending an extra ten seconds doing the whole thing properly and using a dash of soap? Hell, when the people who do wash their hands throw their used hand towels onto the floor rather than into the bin, perhaps I should be grateful that more people don't wash their hands, else I might not be able to open the door to get inside in the first place.
Quite how people feel able to wash their coffee mugs in here, I really don't know.
Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Twenty-Three)
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