A New Low… Public Toilets

I’ve seen my fair share of fluorescent lighting in bathrooms, but black lights?  I wanted to look around for the black light poster of Lil Wayne.
You can get your own one for $4.99 on Amazon.com
The Swiss love a clean bathroom.  I commend them on the nice state of their public toilets.  In addition to being clean, almost every public bathroom has disinfectant next to the toilet.  This is so you can personally disinfect the toilet seat before and after use. What a country!

I admit to being a bit puzzled by the black light fixture. It made the toilet paper glow.  Maybe people use black lights in bathrooms to find “spots” they missed when cleaning?  Was this store was so proud of their bathrooms, they invite you to take a look? I wonder if they make a black light flashlight version?  A hand-held black light would probably be handy on cleaning day.  Or not.

Actually, the black light is to prevent junkies from finding their veins.  If they can’t find their veins, addicts can’t shoot up in public restrooms.  Tres practique!

 

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What The Heck Is A Bidet?

Although we (unfortunately for our visitors who want to take one for a test drive) don’t have a bidet in our apartment here in Switzerland, we had one at our hotel in Prague. It occurred to me that are unfamiliar with bidets and it’s probably about time to for Bidet 101.
Until I came to Europe for the first time, I’d never heard of a bidet.  I saw this perplexing contraption between the toilet and the shower and couldn’t understand why you just wouldn’t use one or the other.
A bidet (pronounced bid-day) is a low-mounted plumbing fixture, similar in size to a toilet, or type of sink intended for washing the bits that rub together when you walk.  In other words, it’s a mini-shower for your undercarriage.

Theories about as to why Americans don’t have or use bidets:

  • They don’t come standard and cost extra money.
  • Saving water and energy (which is expensive here) isn’t as much of a priority for Americans.
  • Americans shower more frequently.
  • We don’t know how to use them.  Wikipedia says that bidet is an old French world for pony and that helps you imagine how you would use one. Without go-go gadget legs, it’s next to impossible.
  • When the Ritz Carlton hotel in New York installed bidets, the puritanical League of Decency immediately compelled their removal.  Perhaps bidets are still morally objectionable?
Now that you know how to use a bidet, it’s time to get creative.  Possible other uses for your hotel room’s bidet include:
  • Baby Bath
  • Storage – It’s useful for storing things, kind of like a medicine cabinet.  You could also store your reading material or extra toilet paper in one.
  • Wet bar – Filled with ice, it makes a great ice bucket.
  • Doggie water bowl

  • Water fountain
  • Vomitoir – It is handy for throwing up in the case of flu or food poisoning.
  • Foot bath – Soak your feet after a long day of walking
  • I’m sure Cosmo Kramer could find another use.  How do you follow up installing a disposer in the shower?  Just imagine what Kramer could do with a bidet…
  • Children’s toy? Fishing Pond?  Barbie bathtub?

Sorry, it appears that some of my suggested uses for a bidet are not permitted.
 

 

B.Y.O.K. – Bring Your Own Kitchen

Here, “unfurnished” apartments can be a different sort of unfurnished than we are used to in the US.  There are usually no light fixtures (just bulbs with bare wires). Most of our friends have hired electricians install light fixtures. I am (a) lazy, and (b) cheap.  As a result, we still have bulbs hanging on wires.

We had to specify whether or not we would be bringing our own kitchen. Given that we were coming from the US where the voltage is different, I felt pretty confident when I stated that we would not be bringing our own kitchen.

Everything is relative.  Forget the idea of an apartment coming with a washer and/or dryer.  Sometimes, you don’t get curtain rods or toilet seats