I think Filipino people have bladders like steel armoured tanks because there is a distinct lack of public toilets in Manila or if you do see a sign it entails long walks up and down between floors in huge malls trying to figure out exactly where the toilets are.
If you’re stuck in traffic in a taxi…forget it. You’re in biiiiig trouble.

Sometimes you even have to pay, in coins, to use the amenities.
(I remember pay toilets from back in my childhood days in Africa.)

I have a bladder the size of a pea and my bladder has the “hold on” factor of three minutes. Fishing through my purse looking for the appropriate coin is leg crossingly agonising!

Tropical countries are hot no matter the season. In Manila the cool season (now) still makes you thirsty and the more you drink, the more disorganised your purse, the more near accidents you’re likely to have.

Public toilets in strange countries are both fascinating and anxiety provoking.
You never know what you’re going to get.
A  detachable shower head next to the toilet?  Really?
How is this even necessary?
Maybe if you’re really ill?
I’ve never ever understood the point of a bidet. Seems a bit kinky to me.

Sometimes, in the fancier establishments they have toilet attendants. I don’t know what you call them? (You don’t get them here in Australia….not that I’m aware of anyway- then again I rarely go anywhere “fancy”.)
What a job? Hanging around in the loo’s all day doing crosswords or checking in on facebook all the while breathing in other peoples poo particles.
You don’t believe me that poo particles exist?
Apparently they do.
I’d demand to wear a mask in that line of work.

I saw that many shoe prints on the toilet seats in Manila that it made my mind boggle.
I saw signs saying NOT to stand on the seat too.


How is this possible?
To actually stand on the seat, and pee?

What is even more interesting is that most Filipino ladies like to wear outrageously high heels.
I just don’t think this is physically possible, to balance in heels on a tiny seat, possibly with a loose seat fixture (if there is one), pull down your pants, hold your handbag between your teeth, position yourself above the bowl, pee in a straight line downward, THEN, adopt a yoga position to reach BEHIND you….far behind you on the back wall, to reach the toilet paper.

Why do they put the toilet paper way behind you on the back wall?
Unless…….the ladies standing on the seat are facing the back wall?

Like I said…..the mind boggles.
I wouldn’t like to accidentally walk in on such an intimate moment. Would you?

Unfortunately sometimes we encountered those who simply cannot pee in straight lines, with high heels on, chewing on their handbags….In this case, if the amenities were not full of people you could pick and choose a stall, avoiding the ghastly ones, however most times we stood in queues with dozens of others waiting to experience the luxury of relieving one’s self.

It’s funny, the etiquette for standing in a queue in a public restroom is the same wherever you are. A bit like being in a lift. (But lifts generally smell better.)
Don’t look at anyone – simply stare off into space… Everyone must face the cubicle doors….Don’t start up a conversation…Try to ignore any highly explosive noises you might hear coming from behind the closed cubicle doors and if you do hear any, quickly go and stand in another line because you do NOT want to go in that one!
Wait your turn patiently, do not push in, try not to pull funny faces as you attempt to locate and plead with your pelvic floor muscles.

On one such occasion after my seventeen year old daughter and I had waited our turns for quite some time, I was able to finish the task successfully but afterwards my daughter made me laugh because she said she’d walked in and there was pee everywhere, but because there were loads of other people standing behind her in the queue and no other toilets available she felt too embarrassed to walk straight out again, so she simply closed the door, stood there for a few minutes, flushed and walked out very quickly.

I thought that was the most ridiculous thing to do… and found it really funny, but a few days later, I found myself doing exactly the same thing!

You just don’t want to appear to be snobby saying “Oh I am way too good for THIS toilet!”

But really…..if there’s no paper (To clean up someone else’s mess!)….no toilet seat covers and you’re wading in pee?

I can see why high heels might be helpful. Stilts maybe?
(And that shower head… hose the floor and toilet FIRST?)

The water levels in the toilets in Manila are like in America….FULL….way up high close to the top of the toilet.
I’ve never understood that.
When I arrived at LA airport I thought ALL their toilets were broken.
Very poor service I thought, as I went from stall to stall and they all appeared “broken” with water nearly up to the top like that.

Here in Australia there is just a little bit of water in the bottom of the toilet.
It’s good, because you don’t have to worry about splash back….or accidentally dipping your coat tails in the toilet bowl.

I had a most unfortunate experience in a toilet in Manila.

As I deposited the toilet paper down into the bowl….I accidentally …..dipped my hand in the toilet water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you know how quickly I spun around and looked….checked, “Am I absolutely positive that’s MY pee in there?”
“Looks like mine…. Yes it’s mine.”
Do you know how many times I scrubbed the offending hand on that occasion?
Triple blegh!

Why the heck is the water so high in the damn bowl?
It serves no purpose other than to give you a nasty fright.
I don’t want to bathe in the toilet bowl! I just need a bit for flushing away…thank you!

And flushing…
Oh my.
So, you stand there after you’ve managed to not let any part of your anatomy touch the seat or accidentally fall in the water…Do you press a button? Press a lever? Wave your hand in front of a sensor? Close the lid? Is there a certain spot where you stand that will make it flush automatically….Is it when the door opens that it flushes?
I stood there that many times looking suspiciously at the toilet wondering just what it was up to, before finally getting fed up and walking out in exasperation.
See my pee….who cares! I tried!
What do you have to do? Do a dance… Gangnam style, to get it to flush?

And talk about feeling STUPID trying to wash your hands.
Do you wave your hands under the tap?
Turn the tap?
Press a button?
(Everybody is watching you sniggering.)
Say the magic word….SHALOM!
And….is the toilet roll hanging on the wall there by the sink for the toilet or to dry your hands?

Why does attending to bodily functions have to be such an ordeal?
At least I got myself out of the locking myself in the hotel bathroom incident in Thailand unscathed. (Well, my son got me out.)
It was only a few moments of panic, and it was all nice and clean in there.

So much easier in the outback…..just find a bush somewhere, shoo away a few thousand flies and you’re right.

About Tracy Lundgren

I am a people watcher,life observer, nature lover, spiritual seeker loving this crazy wild ride that life is taking me on. I am still a blank piece of paper waiting to be filled and that is good.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Australia, embarrassing, Humour, Public toilets, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ladies?

  1. Hilarious! Toilet Humour at it’s finest. Well done Rose. 🙂 Least you haven’t come across the troughs that you all squat side by side one another (Vietnam a speciality) especially in the markets…now that’s a real hoot…

  2. Dan says:

    Precisely why i avoid public rest rooms at all cost.

    And why, in some locals, are they called rest rooms?
    Empathetically speaking, probably not as stressful as having babies, but not exactly a restful respite. 😯
    During my long experienced career, i can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to move my bowels in a public toilet.
    But I should probably hold my tongue as well, because as one’s body and muscles age, they tend to lose their abilities to control ones exhibitions. 😉

    While living in Munich for many years, I’ve come across several episodes of rest room relief.
    I’ve had experiences with “hole in the ground” toilets as well, although they were private ones.
    While on vacation in Verona Italy during the middle 80s (and not the middle ages), I can remember opening the door to a public toilet and just seeing a hole in the concrete. More like a peasants pot than a king’s throne, hey?
    Then another weekend visiting Salzburg Austria we happened upon a woman who at first glance, I had thought was practicing some sort of Yoga positions.
    Mind you, this was up on the Festung, a fortress built right in the middle of the city.
    As we came closer it was evident that this woman was out of choices and that Mother Nature was yelling very fervently above all other personal sensibilities.
    When you gotta go, you gotta go. I only hope that she went back to practicing her Yoga exercise when she finished. 😕
    And then, of course, there are the public toilets at Oktoberfest.
    Now at this festival one does not usually eat too much but when you’re drinking and putting Maßes (one liter per stein) of beer into your gut, you need to have an effective and efficient way of also removing said beer from you body.
    No wonder that the Germans are great engineers as all that they have designed are walls to piss upon.
    And now back to work.
    Eins, zwei, drei, g’suffa! 😛

    P.S. I’m assuming you are back in Ozzieland and not stuck in quarantine in some hotel in Manila or Thailand because the authorities wouldn’t let you fly due to your illness. Yes? 😕

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