Monday, June 13, 2011

Crazy Americans & public restrooms

Ok…
American’s can be a tat crazy…
I know I know, Dutch people are cheap…
Belgium people are not so smart (or so they say)…
And French people just DON’T wanna talk English when you are on vacation in Euro Disney…


No typing and peeing!







We love to put people in small little boxes, so we can make ourselves feel better. This post is not about that! I love everybody, every ethnic group, every religion, every culture, every “we do it our way” and this post is just meant to be funny and make you think (a bit).

Since we immigrated to this beautiful country I have noticed some strange things and some of them make me lay awake at night and think and some just make me chuckle and turn my head. I would love to share these thoughts with you and hope you’ll enjoy and maybe get a chuckle out of it as well…

So here we go with my first “Crazy Americans!”

The things you see when you first come into this country are astonishing! EVERY THING IS BIG, OR BIGGER, well except for the public restrooms that is!

And i'm sorry to say but he people are truly bigger here too. (I see the difference getting smaller, USA versus Europe lately, but 15 years ago the difference was really shocking). My sweet aunt took me to a local grocery store and that is where I encountered my first “obese lady”. I can tell you my mouth and jaw almost reached the street, and I had to sneak behind her to watch again, and again, to make sure my brain was NOT playing tricks with me. She had a normal big size torso, normal big size legs but her butt was almost as big as the whole sliding door of the grocery store! I looked at my aunt and she just shook her head, as if to say, "keep your manners and don’t stare". But I just couldn’t help myself. I had seen nothing like this in my sixteen years being on this planet…



An American restroom...














A couple of weeks into my stay here we went to the movies. I think it was Star Wars but I could be wrong, and I desperately needed to go to the bathroom. I walk into the bathroom and the first thing I notice is that there is about ONE INCH AND A HALF of room between the door and the frame!

“WHAT’S THIS?!?”

“How am I suppose to pee, if anybody that walks by can just watch me sit there and do my business!!??” You feel embarrassed enough when the walls don’t go all the way up and if you pee everybody can hear you, but SEE you… Well that is a whole different dimension!

So while I’m sitting there figuring out how I can pee comfortable without anybody peeking in, I was thinking about how I came in this little restroom in the first place. The door opens INWARDS!!! “Hmmmm, why would that be….?”

Soo I finally got the peeing done with and was pretty proud of myself for not sounding too loud and I got up, try to open the door and to my amazement (what I didn’t “get” coming into the toilet) I almost had to sit back on the seat in order to open the door and get out! And you have to keep in mind at age 16 I weighed about 50 kilo’s…. uhmmm… 114 pounds...

Even in Moscow they have doors that open outwards!






From that moment on I have checked every public restroom (I know, I know, who’s crazy now…) But for every 20 public toilets there is only one that has a door opening OUTWARDS! So now we go back to that lady at the supermarket in 1995. If I already have so much trouble getting in an out a public restroom (and yes this includes, your Walmart, your rest areas, your restaurants, your movie theatres, your casino’s, your schools, your racetracks your airports, your public buildings, your hospitals, and so on and so on) besides the fact that it is just embarrassing to hear or SEE somebody pee (or worse), how on earth does the average American women who in most cases is slightly bigger than me, manage to get in and out of the restroom in a decent manner???

And no I haven’t had the guts to check the men’s restrooms, but I’m sure it can’t be that different from the ladies…


...

46 comments:

Buttons said...

Ha ha ha. I have never been in a washroom in the states but I know I have been in washrooms in Canada where I have encountered the same thing.Great designing eh!
I think at least the men can stand. B

It's me said...

Wat een grappige post !! waar kun je het al niet over hebben.....fijne week liefs Ria....xxx..

Dawson Cattle Company said...

you crack me up!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I guess I've never thought about it. Seems like every bar I've ever been to has one or two doors with no locks at all. Doesn't bother me. I guess I'm not shy about that stuff. :)

bon bon said...

you are a riot, leontien!! i've been to europe a couple times, and lived in japan for short while, so i take mental note of these (mental) observations myself. in paris, we had to pay to use a public toilet. i worried i'd have go really bad, and would't have the correct change! ha! in japan, you'd squat over a hole in the ground, sometimes without any doors! i pretty much held it in until i got back to our apartment.

but you are right in that you don't see that many obese people. but they are starting to get their share of fast food chains too, sadly. also, their cars are much smaller! no one feels the need to drive an suv.

Paula said...

Hilarious! I've never even thought about this before, but I will every time I use a public restroom from now on! *grin*

texwisgirl said...

i think this is a beginning of a great series from you - "Crazy Americans". :) can't wait to hear more of your observations to look at 'our' life here in the States from a slightly different view!

Larkrise garden girl said...

Only you could think of the obvious which we get use to. Lol

Dianna said...

You are so right about restrooms being really small. I'm maybe just a little smaller than average size - and I've often wondered how larger women manage to get in and out of those tiny stalls! I've never been out of the US (except to the Bahamas), so can't compare them to other countries.

Cinner said...

Ha ha being a larger woman I have to say those bathrooms are no easy task, the worst though are the bathrooms in an airplane. If your claustrophobic at all your in trouble. liked your post....My family is originally from Belgium so had not heard that one before...I had heard they ate alot of potatoes though. enjoy!

Dreaming said...

Funny post and some great observations... BUT, I once had to squat over a bowl in the floor at a railroad station in Switzerland. Now, that was a strange bathroom!! Oh, and the TP was some torn up newspaper stuck on a nail! Comfort!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I really enjoyed this post because I've never thought about your 'observations' before because it's all I know! But you're really going to have to peak inside a mens room--I've done it, and while I didn't need therapy afterwards, I was a little surprised... :-))

Dar said...

the lady's room must certainly been designed by a man. They have urinals and get the luxury of just shaking it off from a standing postition...go figure...they have it so lucky. Have you ever had to pee when you were in a V bottom boat in the middle of the lake? Tricky hanging over the edge.
BlessYourHeart FunnyStuff

Kristin said...

This was funny and true!
Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment!
Here's to 40! ;o)

Love, Kristin

lisa said...

You know, I think you are right about the restrooms here. I look forward to this series Leontien!

Alica said...

You have such a great way of telling stories...makes even such a thing as a bathroom something to laugh at! :)

Randy said...

A good post to start the week with! Bravo!

One said...

I truly enjoy your humorous post. I've experienced this sort of washroom too, where I almost have to climb up the toilet bowl in order to open the door. I stay in Malaysia.

Am following via Blogger and NetworkBlogs.

Dawn said...

Canadian washrooms are the exact same. I try to avoid them whenever possible. I STILL can't figure out the door system;))

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

I think the purpose of the inward doors is so you don't smack anyone with the door when you are exiting.

Europe was strange, no toilet seats and paying. I remember having to pay here in the states back in the 70"s.
No free water at the cafes in Europe either!

BigD said...

I have come to the same realization myself lately.
There seems to be a trend toward the no-extra-space issue in stalls all over the place.
This morning, I had to practically straddle the pot to get the door open again! So, amen!

That Janie Girl said...

Seriously?

Oh, God.

I'm doomed.

Rebecccccca said...

I think that the doors are "backwards" on our bathrooms because the maintinace people are lazy (I mean it is the great Ol'-ish US of A) and when the lock breaks (because it will) you can just hold the door closed with your hand or foot since the stall is so small.
I can't wait for more of this series.
Sorry for the run on sentences.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

When my mom was very pregnant with my youngest brother (who weighed well over 9 lbs. when born) she got stuck in the library bathroom which had a door that opened inwards. Me being 16 at the time, I thought it was hilarious, and just laughed and laughed. She was pretty mad once she worked her way out.

Sandra said...

you are so right about the small sizes of the rest rooms, the ones in our new super walmart are so tiny my elbows hit the walls. i use the handicap one because of its size. and they are to small every where. i must say, i never noticed the see through thing, so next time i will pay attention. it has never bothered me that they can hear me pee, since every one has to pee and knows what it sounds like. i think Americans are more open and don't care about things like that. with people walking around with their butts and boobs hanging out in public, they will not care about a little crack. no comment on the fat since i am one of the fat ones

Clint said...

Well first of all I have to say this is the kind of post I really like---you are tackling real issues and making sense.

My how times have changed. Fifty years ago we all had jobs that required physical activity of some kind. We went home and ate nutritious meals. We were in good physical condition. Severe obesity was so rare that the county fairs of the day featured a "fat lady" who was, at the time, a freak of nature that you paid $.25 to see.

Nowadays, we earn our money by sitting on our increasingly fat asses staring at a computer screen all day and then grabbing a big mac and fries on the way home for dinner.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Leo! thats hilarious! when i used to travel in europe alot i could easily tell the difference. now we all are looking about the same.. all of us bigger and with our Gap or Nike tshirts.
;-)

Susan said...

Wow! They really made an impression on you :D)

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Lol. I've noticed that in bathrooms here, but I guess I never really thought about it. Funny, I did get a chuckle.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Lol. I've noticed that in bathrooms here, but I guess I never really thought about it. Funny, I did get a chuckle.

Greenacremama said...

Hahahahahahaha...funny post!!!...it is a strange thought to me that in Europe one pays to use the restrooms and here you can go into almost any store...without having to buy anything.
I don't think I would feel comfortable with that lady sitting outside...way to much pressure...; )

Julia said...

Obviously they built the washroom smaller because it's cheaper, or they use some very small people to built them. I think that it would be wise for them to use larger people to built those washroom. That may solve the problem. JB

RedPat said...

You certainly gave me a chuckle for the day!

Leah @ Beyer Beware said...

That is hilarious. Never even thought about the way a door swings. It would be handy for it to swing out!

Jill said...

I do not get the door thing either! I hate public restrooms! Great post.

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

lol. It's worse when you're pregnant. As you enter, your big ol' tummy is over the toilet seat. So you close the door behind you and do your business. Then, when you try to leave, the door won't open! You have to turn around and put your belly above the toilet again and back out!

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

Your post, and some of the comments that were left, made me laugh so good.

I am around 5'3" high, 129 pounds, therefore, the size of the bathroom stalls do not bother me - yet! But I have been inside one and witnessed this large lady looking around and feeling frustrated because, except for the handicaped stall, she would not fit anywhere else.


Would you think they have the doors opening to the inside for safety reasons? It would be easier to brake in the door in case someone got stuck (or sick) in there? The poor person would take a chance of loosing her front teeth, would anyone push the door in, but... who knows?

You are a precious lady, Leontien!
xxx

Dawson Cattle Company said...

so thanks to you I have recently been checking out the bathroom door dilemma. today I was at a resteraunt that the doors opened out and there was room for me and a couple of little people! lol

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Leontien, nice to meet you and thanks for signing up at my blog! I'll be your newest follower, too. This is a cute post and so true about the bathrooms. I can't believe how they've designed most of them with the doors swinging inward. Once you get in and get the door shut, it takes some real maneuvering to get out, skinny or not! As far as Americans getting fat or fatter, I've noticed a big increase in the butts myself, mine included, and I think it's all the greasy fast food we've been eating. The people across the water, as we say here, will catch up with us once they've had the fast food awhile. Just wait! LOL! Again, nice to meet you.

Carletta said...

Loved the no typing and peeing sign. :)
Thanks for your visit to my photoblog.

Allison said...

Definitely interesting to hear how a European perceives the US, since I'm in the opposite boat! :) There are so many good and interesting sides to joining a new society, and so many things that just make you stop and wonder... why, why, why?

:D Interesting post...

Ed Pilolla said...

it's good to know that the large difference in body types is declining over 15 years. when i travel to italy i notice two things right away: people are in better shape and they don't dress as casually as americans, to say nothing of the differences pertaining to the knowledge of current events between europeans and americans. i remember the bathrooms in a mcdonalds in rome were illuminated with black lights.

Suzanne McClendon said...

About the men's restroom, you don't want to go. I've been in one and its scary stuff. Maybe not therapy-worthy like someone else mentioned, but whereas you can see through the space in the stall doors in the women's restroom, there aren't generally stalls at all in a men's restroom. They just let it fly right there with an audience. Shivers!

And then there's the whole sticking to the floor issue because their "aim" is off and it goes everywhere except into the urinal drain. :)

It is much safer to stay out of the men' room!

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