Monday, February 23, 2009

Colored Toilet Paper

To continue the theme of colored toilet paper, in the case of France, or at least in Aix, it seems this is one of their priorities. Especially when the bathroom is nasty. Let's say you have a little bathroom that doubles as a janitor's closet off the basement stairway in a somewhat sketchy internet café/bar. It's small. It's dirty in the way that it can't possibly be cleaned. There isn't any soap for your hands, nor any semblance of paper or fabric towels. There is a tiny waste basket and a hole in the wall. There is, however, a charming little wooden shelf with green leaves of painted iron. The seat on the toilet is pink, and so is the toilet paper.

This bathroom is not unique. I have seen others like it in this area, where they add little aesthetic touches to make what would otherwise be a highly unpleasant experience into something more palatable. It's like going into a dirty gas station bathroom and finding a bouquet of fresh flowers. It could happen. But in America, it's not the norm. Whereas here (in France), it seems more of an expectation. And the result of these details is, you get so charmed, it doesn't occur to you how nasty the grime is at the bottom of the toilet. Or you see it, but you say, 'It's ok, they have pink toilet paper.' At least, that's kind of how it was for me. Because I appreciate the effort. I give the toilets in this country four stars. Maybe even five. Much better than Italy, where most of the time, you didn't even have a seat, because they would be stolen.

If you'd like to read more from this post, go here.

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