Say no to crazy toilets
“That is one seriously crazy toilet,’’ my boyfriend explained after returning from the lavatories in one of Sydney’s swankiest restaurants.
It wasn’t the nicest topic to discuss over our yellowfin tuna and pork belly mains but it got my attention. Curious to know what he meant by ``crazy toilet’’ and whether it had multiple personality disorder, unsure if it was a toilet or bidet, I flung down the cutlery and headed for the ladies.
My mind was racing with ideas on how fascinating this trip to the loos was about to be. Maybe it was unisex, maybe there was an attendant waiting for me with facecloth and a spritz of perfume. But nothing braced me for what I was about to see.
As I pushed the ladies door open, there were two cubicles. Completely see through. Clear glass and on the other side was a toilet.
As I let out an expletive, a wave of panic began to take over as I contemplated how I was going to execute this.
The fear began to subside once I swung the door open and saw the glass turn opaque, obscuring me from the outside world.
But how sure could I be that no one could see me doing a tinkle?
As a person who has absolutely no faith in anything and trusts no one, I attempted to try and swing the door open, still keep myself positioned on the seat but somehow manage to stick my head around to see if a stranger could look in.
Of course, this would have only been possible if I had a neck resembling Inspector Gadget’s or if I was actually on a date with a girlfriend who could have checked for me while she dutifully held the door.
Since when did going to the toilet become so hard?
Better yet, when did it become “an experience?’’
In society’s desperate clamour to outdo itself each week, restaurants and the next-hottest bars are making some of the simplest, and some would say pleasurable tasks, complicated.
The toilets on Level 41 restaurant at the top of Chifley Plaza in Sydney are infamous for their view.
The Ritz Hotel in London has a bedroom as its women’s toilet.
But aren’t designers taking it just a little too far when one of the most idiot-proof tasks in life can test the IQ of even a Nobel prize winner?
At one Sydney club, male and females enter a large room where there are space-like pods, complete with one of those sci-fi sliding doors seen in movies, minus the fake atmospheric smoke which always gushes out.
Once a person enters the opaque glass domes (what is it with opaque glass and toilets?) a shadow of someone sitting on the toilet can be seen from the outside.
Then there are the slanting basins, where the water run towards the wall and you don’t even need to turn on a tap because the water just comes gushing automatically.
Only problem is, unlike the good-old white ceramic washbasin, which always came with a ledge to rest the handbag, these new swanky set-ups end up splashing water all over the place.
But what has thrown me is why with all our technology and bragging about progress, that in this modern day I should have to pump my own water to wash my hands?
I thought the days of walking to wells to get our water and washing clothes along the washboards had passed in my grandmother’s era.
While at a recent bar, I found myself with soap in my hands but without the matching H20.
I became truly perplexed about how to turn on the water.
Thinking it was the amount of wine I had drunk, I then heard a voice say: “You need to pump the pedal under the basin to get the water.’‘
Oh. Silly me.
Here I was thinking that we lived in a modern world where water came out of tap –automatically – or at least just by turning the knob.
I am all for great design and architectural feats, but not at the expense of making the most simplest tasks, the hardest.
Perhaps in all their genius, the designers could put their minds to better use and find a way for the toilet roll dispenser to never run out of paper.
Or, a device that gets the loo paper off your shoe without all the drama and embarrassment.
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