Adventures in the Washroom

A while ago, I found myself in a place where the facility panders to both genders and subsequently had to wait for a man to finish his ablutions (not the religious kind) at the wash-hand basin. He literarily washed (only thing missing was the soap!) his face, neck and finally his hands at the sink and certainly took his sweet time. Picture the scene with me and you’ll understand just how frustrated I was that fateful day. The most dismal part of the whole thing is that there was only one wash basin, and being the hygienic gal…I had to wait!

Ever wondered what the delay could possibly be from the water gurgling down the loo to the person’s emergence? This question has reared itself a couple of times whilst waiting for just such an individual. As far as I was concerned the time lapse was unduly long (okay it seemed that way!)…I mean, flush and come out, the scenic surroundings not withstanding! This wait only occurs in public facilities and is thus really puzzling.

Have you also experienced the knock and push associated with using the ladies? Some doors come equipped with the blatant sign that signals occupancy; sadly others are not so fortunate. If you happen to be inside one without this sign, then you’ve definitely experienced the knock and push trend i.e. the person knocks and immediately pushes, trying to gain entrance. Some people don’t believe in the knock part and just go ahead with the push! Doesn’t common sense dictate that when the exterior bolt is unlocked, then the stall is not empty? Why bother to knock or even push to discover this? Nature can be demanding (we understand that) but it certainly does not mean that all other senses should take flight.

Ever been to the cinemas and immediately the movie ended the sensation you had managed and ignored for the duration could no longer be dismissed? You rush over to the lavatory and discover that everyone else beat you to it? Fifty other people stare at, or look through you (as the case maybe), all waiting to do their business. This may take a while and oftentimes you have to muster superhuman prowess in containing your water. If you happen to be quite desperate, looking beneath the door for a shadow helps to jump the endless queue. No shadow means an empty stall, and since every other person was clueless about this, you get to hop in happily way before every other person!

As humans we must move, respire, feed, reproduce, excrete etc as a result we must of necessity converge in certain (public) spaces in order to do some of them. The most embarrassing of them all, being bodily functions which some of us would otherwise wish away. Interestingly, as long as you and I are alive we must learn to be less self-conscious when Nature makes her demands and we have to share that space with others she also called at that same point in time.

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  1. Hmmmm…
    serious food for thought; i have not been in such a situation as yours before though i have had to wait for use of the washroom.
    could it be that the society u r in determines behaviour in d washroom ?

  2. Lovely piece. Here’s something that leaves me amused in public wash rooms.
    Often times nature calls for the greater of its 2 “toilet assignments” – the non-gender biased version (requiring quite fairly, that both sexes sit) .

    So, in a crowded washroom a gentleman, having engaged in “number 2” is forced(by time constraints and incessant knocks from impatient people) to emerge from a toilet cubicle, with the embarrassing knowledge that he is largely responsible for the “difficult breathing conditions” of his immediate environment.

    I always find it amusing to notice the straight faces of everyone, almost like no one notices. I guess its a case of “let he(or she) that hath no sin cast the first stone”. 😀

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