Friday, July 05, 2013

The Cleanliness of Public Toilets

As far as I'm concerned, using public toilets is a nuisance. First off, finding one can be a challenge. Then there is the condition of the facility once it is found.

Two years ago, my cousin came for a visit. When she returned to Canada she announced she did not plan to return until she could place the toilet paper in the toilet instead of in a container beside the toilet. Furthermore, she wanted all the toilets in public bathrooms to have toilet seats, and an ample supply of toilet paper and soap.

Even though the public municipal bathrooms in Mexico are inadequate, most of the time there's a charge to use one. Usually a woman sits outside the bathroom collects money and hands out toilet paper. Sometimes the toilets do not flush, generally toilet seats are lacking and soap is of assorted quality, if there is any.  Seldom will there be hot and cold running water.

I’m currently in Vancouver, Canada. I spent five hours walking around Stanley Park. I used two city park washrooms, free of charge, spotless, with toilet seats and plenty of supplies.

Northern climates appear to have cleaner facilities than southern. I have visited Switzerland and Iceland. Both countries keep their public washrooms spotless. Mexico, Cuba and Italy all neglect public facilities. In my travels, Belize was the worst offender.

If I need to use a toilet, I can't afford to be picky. I'll use whatever facility is provided and pay whatever cost. However, I've come to appreciate public bathrooms provided by the wealthier northern countries with their healthier tax base.

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