Planning a trip to Europe? Thank heavens you stumbled upon this blog! Before you go, you really need to consider a couple of handy tips my husband and I discovered that will help make your visit a more pleasant experience.
Take going to the bathroom for example. Did you know that you have to PAY for the privilege? Um hmm .50 Euros. That’s nearly a dollar American, down the toilet.
Unfortunately, we didn’t remember until we were in ‘crisis-mode’ so to speak. Of course, we were waaay out of town, strolling through a picturesque German neighborhood, admiring the quaint architecture when my hubby felt a sudden need to find a McPoo. (Apparently, this is what European tourists call McDonalds, because its got free restrooms). I was miffed as his bowel functions were messing with my holiday but, since the matter seemed to be fairly pressing, we turned around and headed back toward town.
Whatever he was suffering from must have been contagious because I was also suddenly afflicted and we both picked up speed. Okay. Where is a McDonalds when you need one? There is one on every bleeping corner of the universe, unless you’re desperate. Luckily, there was a sign at the train station. W.C. (No, Wendy, this does not stand for Wendy and Carolyn, although at first I thought they’d heard of us over there. It stands for Water Closet).
Europeans have the audacity to keep these things locked until you have .50 Euro to plug into the door. Of course, we didn’t. I had a dollar. We hot-footed it over to a nearby bakery, waving our Euro and shouting “WC ! WC!” at the poor girl behind the counter. There was an elderly woman (a year or so older than me) at the counter, pointing at baked goods and jabbering in German. I don’t speakie the lingie, but clearly she couldn’t decide. And the girl behind the counter couldn’t open the register to make change, until she decided. My husband and I jogged in place while she deliberated. FOREVER. Sticky buns? Non-sticky buns. (I will refrain from the obvious pun). Finally, the elderly woman made her decision, the girl behind the counter flung our change at us and we were off to the WC.
There was only one open.
“Let’s share!” I screamed at my husband and we crowded into the WC (saved .50 Euro while we were at it, I might add). Luckily for us, the honeymoon was over decades ago. He let me go first (would George Clooney be so magnanimous, Wendy?) bless his heart. During his turn, I decided that I had to go again.
Eventually, there was an impatient knock at the door. “Occupied!” I strove to sound jaunty. There was some disgruntled talk outside the door. “Hurry,” I urged the hubby, during his second go round. “I think they think we’re in here…doing it!” “They wouldn’t if they could smell it,” he grunted.
Once we were both blessedly empty, we flung open the door and bolted. Behind us, more disgruntled (this time semi-nauseated) German talk. I’m nearly positive the words “Ugly American” were bandied about.
The British penny is sometimes referred to as a ‘p’. So, it may help to remember this handy saying: A ‘p’ to pee and two ‘p’ to poo.
Good luck, sojourner.