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For Atomika, The European Bathroom Experience

DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
edited May 19 in Debate and/or Discourse
Somewhere in December of 2023, I promised @Atomika to tell her about the real Europe, not the Europe you see in the endless "This is why Dutch bike infrastructure is the coolest" or the "Never make these 10 mistakes in Germany, lol!" or even the "American Culture shock in Norway, No-Way!" The amount of auto-fellating that's happening in them is almost unbearable.

No, I'm here to talk about the weird, mostly harmless, things that I noticed that are just a bit different.
I'm knowledgeable about Northern Europe, extending from the Netherlands to Austria, and while I know things about the UK, I'm going to mostly leave them alone, partially because that's what Boris Johnson would've wanted, but mostly because they delight in doing all things just a bit differently.
I'm also going to speak in broad generalizations, and I hope that my fellow Europeans will chime in with their own experiences, please remember that I can’t speak for everyone on a bloody continent.

Now for the actual post, and I’ll start off with the European Bathroom. This is because just like Northern Europe, it’s normal to be naked in it, and it’s the obvious place to have sex, but when you try, one of you almost slips and dies and while you’re surrounded by water, you’re surprisingly dry.

So, first thing: When I was in the US, baths and showers (especially the cheaper ones, I know you have others) tended to have a one-handle faucet; where you turn it on, and it then goes full blast, and you just turn it from freezing to boiling. This is mostly unknown here, what we get is:
  • Old school: You have 2 faucets next to each other, 1 hot and 1 cold, you turn them, and the result is mixed and blasted into your shower. While in theory it allows all kinds of fancy settings, no-one is going to shower with 30% hot and 20% cold. Everyone just puts the hot one on max, and regulates with the cold one till you get what you want. It does have the potential to burn you though, just to keep things interesting.
  • Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.
  • Luxury: If you’re Scandinavian or rich, you’ll have an electronic temperature auto adjusting mixer, it’ll have a digital display. It looks way better then the plebian mixer, and you’ll be happier to know that you’re actually getting your water at exactly 39.5 degrees.

Now, second thing: Depending on who you are, you’ll have:
  • A bath-shower combo, these are pretty horrible, but they’re also in the US, so you know what to expect
  • A shower: anything from a walk-in, to a cabin with side sprayers and a "rain-shower" or a dark little murder closet. They tend to be smaller then the ones in the US, don’t think you can sadly sit on the ground and cry, cause you’ll take up all the room and it’s hard to be heartbroken and feel claustrophobic.
  • A bath, The dream of all European women. And while it’s easy to think there are sexist reasons for this, I personally think it’s because European bath are just too small for men. I for instance, will have to choose what part of me is submerged: Everything below my belly button, or above. And both options suck. On the other hand, I don’t know why girls seem to love them so much, because if I chop off my feet, turn into a women and take a bath, I would have the waterline at my nipples, so I would just sit there with freezing tits. One day I’ll ask how they solve this.
  • A jet / Jacuzzi bath: Super cool, large and expensive. People who have this tend to be too busy to use it, and people who would use them can’t afford it. They’re also a maintenance hassle, as water stays behind in the system and can start to rot. On the plus side, if you have one of these, you have a housecleaning who can maintain it.
Now, when you exit your shower, you might notice that new houses have a nice towel rack that’s also a radiator keeping a towel nice and toasty for you, but old houses have nothing… not even heating. What they do have is a weird dangling rope. Pull this once, and above the door, the most primitive heating element you’ve seen in your life will glow orange in its white plastic enclosure, giving you 15 minutes of delicious warmth. But only for one side of your body, and you’ll fear your hair will catch fire.

Now the toilet is a whole other thing, and if you want, I’ll do a write-up on that too.

Dibbit on
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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    I might as well continue with more bathroom stuff:

    Water Pressure

    In the US, I found water pressure to be fairly consistent and pretty high, allowing for a real satisfying experience. Here though, there is way more variance: It goes all the way from sad drizzle to overpowering jet, although I feel we have lower pressure overall.
    Pumps that boost the water pressure are mostly not compatible with the ancient water systems in cities, although you can have them if you have your own groundwater pump.
    Rooftop water towers are rare, and mostly a thing for high-rises (once it gets to more then 5 floors, European cities tend to go from 5 floors to 20 or so, having 8 floors or something in between is rare)

    Also, unless you have an expensive warm water circulation system, the water heater tends to be far away from the bathrooms, meaning you’ll have to wait a few minutes before the hot water arrives. This is normally accomplished by standing outside of the shower cabinet like a jackass and holding one hand under the stream. Once your hand starts developing 2nd degree burns, it’s time to add the cold water.

    Warm water itself is supplied thtough various systems, but can be broadly divided into:
    • Direct heat, A Boiler or heat exchange directly heating the water as needed. This system has as a disadvantage that it will most likely only provide heat for 2 sources, so if your sister showers at the same time, you can start a multi-generational row over who’s the bitch who stole your warm water
    • A tank, here warm water is stored into a big tank (average size is about 250 liter) and there is a small more efficient heating element that trickles in warm water. Depending on how big it is, this means that there is about 30 to 60 minutes of water available before it runs out, and it’ll need an hour or so to fill back up. This system means that if you wake up after your sister, she’ll be taking her hour long shower, leaving you with a 10 minute cold wake up call after. This also ensures you’ll hate her.

    In short, Dutch fathers will always yell at their daughters to “get out of the damn shower” This is not only to keep the peace between siblings, but mostly because they’re cheap and heating water is expensive,

    Dibbit on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    This needs to be a coffee table book

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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Toilets

    Now… Toilets are special, and actually quite varied here, The first thing to tackle with them is, where do you place them?

    In the North there is about a 50% chance that you have one in the bathroom, but quite often They’ll have their own little closet, the so called Water Closet. It’s just a small room with a toilet in it, where you can poop in the secure knowledge that your wife isn’t at the same time brushing her teeth and planning your murder.

    It also contains, for some reason, The Smallest Sink Known to man: Tucked into a corner will be something so small, that you can barely put one hand underneath it, as you start this weird dance of wetting your hands one by one, soaping them up, and then rinsing them without scrapping them at the bottom of the calcified faucet. I don’t know why we do this, There’s probably some Dutch Pastor who decried that to be Godly means you have a small sink.

    Also, exclusive to the Netherlands, there is a birthday calendar on the wall, so if you have any Dutch friends, know that they’re thinking of your birthday presents every time they poop.

    Now, on to a different poopy track: Once you go southwards, Bidets become more common in Europe, they’re relatively rare in the Netherlands, but very common in France, and almost universal in Spain and Portugal. For the few people who don’t know what they are, they’re a little shower to clean your butt and lady bits.
    They come in a few flavors:
    • The hand shower, this is old fashioned, and seen more in the Middle-Eastern adjacent countries. This is just a shower-head, but it only gives you cold water, aim it at the parts you want to clean. They’re getting fairly rare
    • The classic bidet: Imagine a urinal, now put it horizontal. You sit on it, and either face towards or away from it and clean yourself.
    • The Japanese Toilet: I’ve always had these, if you’ve been to Japan you know what this is, but it’s just a toilet with a button so that it shoots water from below after you poop, there a separate setting for ladies and for drying. These are by far the best option but also the most uncommon, because they’re very expensive, to give an indication, for me the thing itself was 4000 Euro’s, and another 2k to get the needed electricity to it. Mine is also a seat warmer because my ass is precious. Finally, it’s also an IOT, so one day someone will hack into it and give me an unpleasant surprise. I’m willing to take that chance.

    Now, France is a bit special in the toilet department because they still have some squat toilets.
    These are literal holes in the ground, and they were supposed to be healthy for you. They’re a disgrace, and even they know it.

    The Netherlands and Germany have plateau toilets. These toilets have a little shelf where you can inspect your feces for worms or just artistic expression. Put a little bit of toilet paper on the shelf before doing your business, and it creates a little boat, preventing you from having to brush away skid marks. The reasons for these toilets can be boiled down to “Weird 60’s anthroposophy” and is also the reason there are Steiner schools and wooden blocks as toys. They’re a relic and will hopefully dissapear

    Dibbit on
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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Last thing I can really talk about is style, but with the caveat that people who own bathrooms can obviously make them as they want. But generally:
    • The Dutch like “Prison Chique” for reasons I don’t understand. "Public Pool Luxury" is also acceptable. I’ve seen bathrooms where there was no counter space besides the little edge at the back of a porcelain sink. How half the population isn’t in a constant state of revolution for the very reasonable demand to store a few of their beauty products I have no idea.
    • Belgians like elaborate Bathrooms. When buying a house, they won’t even look at the bathroom, because the first thing they’ll do is drop 30 grand on a new one.
    • Germans will just put in something made by either Geberit or Grohe. In a few minutes, a German will come along to explain that there are 2 Grohe’s, and only one is the good one.
    • The French seem to vary widly, or I just had weird french friends. As I haven't been able to find a stereotype to pin on them.
    • Somehow, our friends near the Mediterranean make beautiful bathrooms, they’re often tiled in soothing colors with a nice mosaic in them. 10/10, no notes, would poop in them again.

    I think I've said most things I know about bathrooms, but I would love to hear from our Randy-Scandies up north, or the more eastern side, where I have way less knowledge.

    Dibbit on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    AntinumericAntinumeric Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    For whatever reason (Brexit?) mine locks at 40c, the settings above only to be used in case of fever, where being warm is impossible.

    Edit: something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-benito-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/9164t

    Of note is our toilets do not come with 10 litres of water in the bowl.

    Antinumeric on
    In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence.
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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    For whatever reason (Brexit?) mine locks at 40c, the settings above only to be used in case of fever, where being warm is impossible.

    Edit: something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-benito-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/9164t

    Of note is our toilets do not come with 10 litres of water in the bowl.

    Actually, this might just be a case of "Dibbit isn't a plumber and not that observant" because I looked online, and the little safety lock seems to be at 40c in all descriptions that I could find.

    Anyway, to give @Antinumeric @Shadowfire some more info, in an EU bathroom, somewhere in the showerstall, mostly at waist level, two water pipes will be installed next to each other, these are your cold and hot water pipes.
    Now, you need to mix the water of these two pipes to get your desired temperature, and you also need something to determine how much (if any) water you want out of your showerhead. (Finally, you might also want a selector to determine wich one of your fancy showerheads gets to have water)

    A very common system looks like this:

    https://cdn.cloud.grohe.com/prod/30/34/34794000/1280/34794000_1_1.jpg
    (inlining these turned out to be huge, so click the link if you want to see)

    It's a metal cylinder or cube, with a knob on each end. These knobs determine the temperature and the water force. Just twist them as neccesary. they tend to be placed with the temperature selector on the right side, but I don't know if that's a rule, or just a habit. You'll note that the one pictured only has 1 number on the temperature slide: 38, the rest is implied. This is because this is an "el Cheapo" one, where they didn't want to calibrate an actual scale on it, they absolutely exist with fine temperature markings.
    You'll also notice the buttons, these prevent you from fully turning the knobs, for the temperature, this is an attempt to stop you from burning yourself, the stop is generally at 40c, not 37c as I said. If you press the button, you can go beyond that, most people do to some degree.
    In the water pressure one, this is so you have to make a conscious choice to go "full power" I don't know anyone who does otherwise, but if you're eco conscious I guess you can take a shower in a drizzle of water?
    A better option would be to for a "half your time under the shower, but fully enjoy it" tactic, IMO.
    Lastly, notice that the thing is a cylinder, but... you have just enough space to put shampoo, conditioner and some soap on top of it.
    This will most likely slide off but it might also just wedge between it and the wall.
    Cheap models are also not thermally insulated, so the metal becomes too hot to touch, a mistake you'll make once if you're poor, and never if you grew up rich because you've been insulated from this kind of danger.


    Now, this isn't the only type of mixer you can fit on the water pipes, and there are many types, Below is a different one, this one is for a shower-bath combo, but the principle is the same if it's in the shower.
    Here there's one handle, turning it left and right selects the temperature, pulling it up selects how much water you get. In this case, the little knob in front of it switches between water for your bath or showerhead.

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41z+cqS3EHL._AC_SY780_.jpg

    Dibbit on
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    thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy Janitor of Technical Debt .Registered User regular
    My unofficial name for the Water Closet is Thunder Box.

    One observation about toilets/plumbing in the south, specifically Greece, is that sometimes I'll find bathrooms where you're told to not flush anything that isn't human waste - not even the TP - because of the age of the plumbing in the area (Greece was a big one for this).

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    honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    It's not sometimes in Greece. It's basically everywhere

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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited May 19
    Also re: Euro Toilets.

    The water level is way lower than US ones, which means your bait and tackle never get an unwanted bath, but the end result is that the bowl gets real fukkin messy unless you scrub after each use. As a result, almost all bathrooms including public ones have scrubbers which you will inevitably have to use unless you are an asshole.

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
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    ZavianZavian universal peace sounds better than forever war Registered User regular
    what did the romans ever do for us

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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Good points, but yes.
    About the sewer system and flushing:

    As a general rule in Europe, you can only flush your bodily creations and toilet paper. Wet (baby) wipes, tampons, condoms and pads will all block the drain, causing it to back up, and ruining your day. Or --if you're lucky-- your dads while he's elbow deep in the toilet unblocking it. Look cute and try to remember if he loves you enough to do this.

    On top of that, more rural places will not be connected to a municipal sewage system, instead, they will have their own septic tank that collects the waste, uses bacteria to clean it (sometimes in complicated 3 tank setups) and then release the "cleanish" water back into nature. If this is the case, you can't use normal soaps or dishwasher detergent. If in a supermarket you see soap that's "biodegradable" then this is the reason, these soaps will dissolve in the tank and not cause it to stop functioning. They are also rubbish for actual cleaning, but that's the price you pay for living in some picturesque village or forest.

    So, what are ladies to do? Well, there will be a lined little waste bin near the toilet, dispose your sanitary items in them, It’s considered a courtesy to wrap them in toilet paper. This to make life easier on whoever has to empty them. Some places also have a little sanitary bag, if that’s the case, put your items in the bag, then put the bag in the trash, don’t flush it.
    Finally, it’s possible that even TP can’t be flushed. I find this case to be more on the uncommon side, and would expect a notice if it’s the case. (Except, as mentioned in Greece, good to know as I’ve never been there)

    Dibbit on
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    HonkHonk Honk is this poster. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I’ve run into places where there’s a motor powered grinder attached in line after the toilet. Which grinds down your poop and toilet paper to a finer sludge.

    Found this to be the case where sewage pipes are really small diameter and installed way after the fact in centuries old buildings.

    PSN: Honkalot
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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Yeah my dad had one of those installed in his (400+ year old) cottage that he retired to. Hella noisy, but it did largely stop plumbing... events

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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Good points, but yes.
    About the sewer system and flushing:

    As a general rule in Europe, you can only flush your bodily creations and toilet paper. Wet (baby) wipes, tampons, condoms and pads will all block the drain, causing it to back up, and ruining your day. Or --if you're lucky-- your dads while he's elbow deep in the toilet unblocking it. Look cute and try to remember if he loves you enough to do this.

    On top of that, more rural places will not be connected to a municipal sewage system, instead, they will have their own septic tank that collects the waste, uses bacteria to clean it (sometimes in complicated 3 tank setups) and then release the "cleanish" water back into nature. If this is the case, you can't use normal soaps or dishwasher detergent. If in a supermarket you see soap that's "biodegradable" then this is the reason, these soaps will dissolve in the tank and not cause it to stop functioning. They are also rubbish for actual cleaning, but that's the price you pay for living in some picturesque village or forest.

    So, what are ladies to do? Well, there will be a lined little waste bin near the toilet, dispose your sanitary items in them, It’s considered a courtesy to wrap them in toilet paper. This to make life easier on whoever has to empty them. Some places also have a little sanitary bag, if that’s the case, put your items in the bag, then put the bag in the trash, don’t flush it.
    Finally, it’s possible that even TP can’t be flushed. I find this case to be more on the uncommon side, and would expect a notice if it’s the case. (Except, as mentioned in Greece, good to know as I’ve never been there)

    You're not actually supposed to flush anything but TP and bodily excretions in the US, either, so-called flushable wipes are an easy way to fuck your plumbing. Aren't supposed to let starches, fats, or anything fibrous go down your other drains in large amounts either. I write about it all the time for my plumbing clients.

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    KamiroKamiro Registered User regular
    I don’t know if this is a Sicily thing, an Italian thing, or just the Palermo airport bathrooms, but they don’t have toilet seats so I guess it’s a squatting situation?

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    KamiroKamiro Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Dammit vanilla, don’t tell me an error occurred so I hit post again and have it post twice!

    Kamiro on
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    thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy Janitor of Technical Debt .Registered User regular
    Kamiro wrote: »
    I don’t know if this is a Sicily thing, an Italian thing, or just the Palermo airport bathrooms, but they don’t have toilet seats so I guess it’s a squatting situation?

    That happens in Spain and France too in public toilets in some areas I've been. Not sure of the official reason.

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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    Kamiro wrote: »
    I don’t know if this is a Sicily thing, an Italian thing, or just the Palermo airport bathrooms, but they don’t have toilet seats so I guess it’s a squatting situation?

    Weird, never seen it like that.
    A true squaters toilet is flush with the ground, and has two little porcelain extensions to stand on.
    They're note very pleasant to use, and I'm pretty sure they're being phased out.

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    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Kamiro wrote: »
    I don’t know if this is a Sicily thing, an Italian thing, or just the Palermo airport bathrooms, but they don’t have toilet seats so I guess it’s a squatting situation?

    That happens in Spain and France too in public toilets in some areas I've been. Not sure of the official reason.

    I have to say that highway toilets have been improving over the years.

    I think it started in Germany, but it's quite common now to have to pay 50 cents (or a euro) to use the bathroom at gas stations. They'll have a little turn-stile like a metro station and names like "2theLoo". Now while this sounds worse, in practice they actually use this money to offer an improved experience.
    It's also not uncommon to get your "money back" as a free coffee coupon after using the facilities.

    This is in stark contrast to a very Belgian thing:

    The Loo Lady.

    Sometimes, you'll see a grumpy woman sitting in front of the toilets, with a begging bowl in front of her.
    You need to fill that bowl with a monetary offering for all the work she has allegedly done to keep the place clean.
    These places tend to smell horribly of piss, and are generally unpleasant, no matter how much hourly cleaning the little schedule nailed to the wall claims to have happened.

    So, yeah, warning to Americans: Pooping ain't free here in Europe, we're a capitalist society.

    Dibbit on
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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Kamiro wrote: »
    I don’t know if this is a Sicily thing, an Italian thing, or just the Palermo airport bathrooms, but they don’t have toilet seats so I guess it’s a squatting situation?

    That happens in Spain and France too in public toilets in some areas I've been. Not sure of the official reason.

    I have to say that highway toilets have been improving over the years.

    I think it started in Germany, but it's quite common now to have to pay 50 cents (or a euro) to use the bathroom at gas stations. They'll have a little turn-stile like a metro station and names like "2theLoo". Now while this sounds worse, in practice they actually use this money to offer an improved experience.
    It's also not uncommon to get your "money back" as a free coffee coupon after using the facilities.

    This is in stark contrast to a very Belgian thing:

    The Loo Lady.

    Sometimes, you'll see a grumpy woman sitting in front of the toilets, with a begging bowl in front of her.
    You need to fill that bowl with a monetary offering for all the work she has allegedly done to keep the place clean.
    These places tend to smell horribly of piss, and are generally unpleasant, no matter how much hourly cleaning the little schedule nailed to the wall claims to have happened.

    So, yeah, warning to Americans: Pooping ain't free here in Europe, we're a capitalist society.

    Yeah, there are sometimes free toilets in Germany and Denmark… but more often then not it’s a coin or a tap of your card to get in, with maybe a credit at the stores at the train station.

    In Serbia the toilets are free because if they weren’t folks will just piss in the bushes as god intended. They might do it anyways.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
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    WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    Taking the train from Munsan to Seoul in Korea, the bathroom was a hole in the floor squatting situation, and also the train swayed side-to-side a lot. Def a challenge mode.

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    AntinumericAntinumeric Registered User regular
    In London they just... Closed all the public toilets about 20 years ago. F you if you have IBS I guess?

    In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence.
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    zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Not to hijack the European bathroom thread, there is a (i thought) interesting write-up on pay toilets in the US, and how they went from being ubiquitous to extinct in the US within a decade due to some basic grassroots activism.

    https://psmag.com/economics/dont-pay-toilets-america-bathroom-restroom-free-market-90683

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    Pay bathrooms still exist in the US, but you pretty much only see them at the trucker-oriented mega-gas-stations on interstates; if you're just visiting a city in the US and don't do any long-distance driving, you'd probably never see one of these. I think they just buy a membership these days and card in and, wildly, they can often be pretty nice and well-cared-for.

    And in urban areas, public bathrooms in the US are definitely strongly in decline. Multiple major cities I've been in in the last few years have basically zero public bathrooms, the bathrooms are entirely in stores and whatnot which are technically accessible to the public but realistically are strongly blocked for use by the homeless. Then you have people turning around and complaining about homeless people defecating in the street and it's like, hey, shitbags, the city took away the public restrooms and business refused to pick up that particular bill, where the fuck are they supposed to go?

    Ninja Snarl P on
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    RazielMortemRazielMortem Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    In London they just... Closed all the public toilets about 20 years ago. F you if you have IBS I guess?

    Thanks Austerity (stupid Conservative government cutbacks started by Boris). They were too expensive and people were aholes. There are a few left but instead you're supposed to use shops and businesses or the free museums.

    RazielMortem on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited May 19
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    For whatever reason (Brexit?) mine locks at 40c, the settings above only to be used in case of fever, where being warm is impossible.

    Edit: something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-benito-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/9164t

    Of note is our toilets do not come with 10 litres of water in the bowl.

    Actually, this might just be a case of "Dibbit isn't a plumber and not that observant" because I looked online, and the little safety lock seems to be at 40c in all descriptions that I could find.

    Anyway, to give Antinumeric Shadowfire some more info, in an EU bathroom, somewhere in the showerstall, mostly at waist level, two water pipes will be installed next to each other, these are your cold and hot water pipes.
    Now, you need to mix the water of these two pipes to get your desired temperature, and you also need something to determine how much (if any) water you want out of your showerhead. (Finally, you might also want a selector to determine wich one of your fancy showerheads gets to have water)

    A very common system looks like this:

    https://cdn.cloud.grohe.com/prod/30/34/34794000/1280/34794000_1_1.jpg
    (inlining these turned out to be huge, so click the link if you want to see)

    It's a metal cylinder or cube, with a knob on each end. These knobs determine the temperature and the water force. Just twist them as neccesary. they tend to be placed with the temperature selector on the right side, but I don't know if that's a rule, or just a habit. You'll note that the one pictured only has 1 number on the temperature slide: 38, the rest is implied. This is because this is an "el Cheapo" one, where they didn't want to calibrate an actual scale on it, they absolutely exist with fine temperature markings.
    You'll also notice the buttons, these prevent you from fully turning the knobs, for the temperature, this is an attempt to stop you from burning yourself, the stop is generally at 40c, not 37c as I said. If you press the button, you can go beyond that, most people do to some degree.
    In the water pressure one, this is so you have to make a conscious choice to go "full power" I don't know anyone who does otherwise, but if you're eco conscious I guess you can take a shower in a drizzle of water?
    A better option would be to for a "half your time under the shower, but fully enjoy it" tactic, IMO.
    Lastly, notice that the thing is a cylinder, but... you have just enough space to put shampoo, conditioner and some soap on top of it.
    This will most likely slide off but it might also just wedge between it and the wall.
    Cheap models are also not thermally insulated, so the metal becomes too hot to touch, a mistake you'll make once if you're poor, and never if you grew up rich because you've been insulated from this kind of danger.


    Now, this isn't the only type of mixer you can fit on the water pipes, and there are many types, Below is a different one, this one is for a shower-bath combo, but the principle is the same if it's in the shower.
    Here there's one handle, turning it left and right selects the temperature, pulling it up selects how much water you get. In this case, the little knob in front of it switches between water for your bath or showerhead.

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41z+cqS3EHL._AC_SY780_.jpg

    Damn, I want one of these. We have the two separate knobs in both our tubs. Plenty of places have the single mixer here, but that bar is very cool.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    when i went to europe (mainly switzerland) i was happy to see that most of the bathrooms were pretty normal with one key exception: im not sure any of them had that circular flush pattern that most american toilets have, they just go straight down... and was always a brush handy and you're to scrub anything that doesn't go down automatically

    never saw a bidet at all though.. was slightly disappointed

  • Options
    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    For whatever reason (Brexit?) mine locks at 40c, the settings above only to be used in case of fever, where being warm is impossible.

    Edit: something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-benito-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/9164t

    Of note is our toilets do not come with 10 litres of water in the bowl.

    Actually, this might just be a case of "Dibbit isn't a plumber and not that observant" because I looked online, and the little safety lock seems to be at 40c in all descriptions that I could find.

    Anyway, to give Antinumeric Shadowfire some more info, in an EU bathroom, somewhere in the showerstall, mostly at waist level, two water pipes will be installed next to each other, these are your cold and hot water pipes.
    Now, you need to mix the water of these two pipes to get your desired temperature, and you also need something to determine how much (if any) water you want out of your showerhead. (Finally, you might also want a selector to determine wich one of your fancy showerheads gets to have water)

    A very common system looks like this:

    https://cdn.cloud.grohe.com/prod/30/34/34794000/1280/34794000_1_1.jpg
    (inlining these turned out to be huge, so click the link if you want to see)

    It's a metal cylinder or cube, with a knob on each end. These knobs determine the temperature and the water force. Just twist them as neccesary. they tend to be placed with the temperature selector on the right side, but I don't know if that's a rule, or just a habit. You'll note that the one pictured only has 1 number on the temperature slide: 38, the rest is implied. This is because this is an "el Cheapo" one, where they didn't want to calibrate an actual scale on it, they absolutely exist with fine temperature markings.
    You'll also notice the buttons, these prevent you from fully turning the knobs, for the temperature, this is an attempt to stop you from burning yourself, the stop is generally at 40c, not 37c as I said. If you press the button, you can go beyond that, most people do to some degree.
    In the water pressure one, this is so you have to make a conscious choice to go "full power" I don't know anyone who does otherwise, but if you're eco conscious I guess you can take a shower in a drizzle of water?
    A better option would be to for a "half your time under the shower, but fully enjoy it" tactic, IMO.
    Lastly, notice that the thing is a cylinder, but... you have just enough space to put shampoo, conditioner and some soap on top of it.
    This will most likely slide off but it might also just wedge between it and the wall.
    Cheap models are also not thermally insulated, so the metal becomes too hot to touch, a mistake you'll make once if you're poor, and never if you grew up rich because you've been insulated from this kind of danger.


    Now, this isn't the only type of mixer you can fit on the water pipes, and there are many types, Below is a different one, this one is for a shower-bath combo, but the principle is the same if it's in the shower.
    Here there's one handle, turning it left and right selects the temperature, pulling it up selects how much water you get. In this case, the little knob in front of it switches between water for your bath or showerhead.

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41z+cqS3EHL._AC_SY780_.jpg

    Damn, I want one of these. We have the two separate knobs in both our tubs. Plenty of places have the single mixer here, but that bar is very cool.

    Yeah, go for it, Hans Grohe is considered a solid brand, and they'll sell you a whole bunch of different ones:

    https://www.hansgrohe.com/bath/products/showers/manual-shower-valves

    Although the electric ones

    https://www.hansgrohe.com/articledetail-rainpad-finish-set-for-2-functions-15854600

    require a 110/240 volt connection, something that I would personally stay away from, just because it's pricey to place.

    Obviously, you can go much more expensive, and go for design, but there the sky is the limit, and you won't be able to do any of that yourself, you'd need to hire an architect to draw it for you.

  • Options
    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    I haven't seen a tableau toilet in The Netherlands in ages. Definitely a thing of the past.

  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Dibbit wrote: »
    [*] Common: Replace those two faucets, and instead, put a metal brick-like thing, about a foot wide in its place. On the left side, there’s a temperature selector, that has faded numbers on it. On the right, there’s how much pressure you want. Both have little safety catches, one to prevent it from going over 37 degrees (You will immediately ignore this and set it to 40) and the other --because the EU doesn’t want you to use all your water-- at ¾ power. You’ll also immediately ignore that one. You’ll use the metal bar itself to store your shampoo, so you can knock it on the floor when you need it.

    I'm gonna need to know more about this.

    For whatever reason (Brexit?) mine locks at 40c, the settings above only to be used in case of fever, where being warm is impossible.

    Edit: something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/triton-benito-rear-fed-exposed-chrome-thermostatic-mixer-shower/9164t

    Of note is our toilets do not come with 10 litres of water in the bowl.

    Actually, this might just be a case of "Dibbit isn't a plumber and not that observant" because I looked online, and the little safety lock seems to be at 40c in all descriptions that I could find.

    Anyway, to give Antinumeric Shadowfire some more info, in an EU bathroom, somewhere in the showerstall, mostly at waist level, two water pipes will be installed next to each other, these are your cold and hot water pipes.
    Now, you need to mix the water of these two pipes to get your desired temperature, and you also need something to determine how much (if any) water you want out of your showerhead. (Finally, you might also want a selector to determine wich one of your fancy showerheads gets to have water)

    A very common system looks like this:

    https://cdn.cloud.grohe.com/prod/30/34/34794000/1280/34794000_1_1.jpg
    (inlining these turned out to be huge, so click the link if you want to see)

    It's a metal cylinder or cube, with a knob on each end. These knobs determine the temperature and the water force. Just twist them as neccesary. they tend to be placed with the temperature selector on the right side, but I don't know if that's a rule, or just a habit. You'll note that the one pictured only has 1 number on the temperature slide: 38, the rest is implied. This is because this is an "el Cheapo" one, where they didn't want to calibrate an actual scale on it, they absolutely exist with fine temperature markings.
    You'll also notice the buttons, these prevent you from fully turning the knobs, for the temperature, this is an attempt to stop you from burning yourself, the stop is generally at 40c, not 37c as I said. If you press the button, you can go beyond that, most people do to some degree.
    In the water pressure one, this is so you have to make a conscious choice to go "full power" I don't know anyone who does otherwise, but if you're eco conscious I guess you can take a shower in a drizzle of water?
    A better option would be to for a "half your time under the shower, but fully enjoy it" tactic, IMO.
    Lastly, notice that the thing is a cylinder, but... you have just enough space to put shampoo, conditioner and some soap on top of it.
    This will most likely slide off but it might also just wedge between it and the wall.
    Cheap models are also not thermally insulated, so the metal becomes too hot to touch, a mistake you'll make once if you're poor, and never if you grew up rich because you've been insulated from this kind of danger.


    Now, this isn't the only type of mixer you can fit on the water pipes, and there are many types, Below is a different one, this one is for a shower-bath combo, but the principle is the same if it's in the shower.
    Here there's one handle, turning it left and right selects the temperature, pulling it up selects how much water you get. In this case, the little knob in front of it switches between water for your bath or showerhead.

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41z+cqS3EHL._AC_SY780_.jpg

    Damn, I want one of these. We have the two separate knobs in both our tubs. Plenty of places have the single mixer here, but that bar is very cool.

    Yeah, go for it, Hans Grohe is considered a solid brand, and they'll sell you a whole bunch of different ones:

    https://www.hansgrohe.com/bath/products/showers/manual-shower-valves

    Although the electric ones

    https://www.hansgrohe.com/articledetail-rainpad-finish-set-for-2-functions-15854600

    require a 110/240 volt connection, something that I would personally stay away from, just because it's pricey to place.

    Obviously, you can go much more expensive, and go for design, but there the sky is the limit, and you won't be able to do any of that yourself, you'd need to hire an architect to draw it for you.

    Oh right, these are for showers. There's the whole bath filling part too.

    Still it's neat as hell and I love them.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    I once stayed in a hotel in Manchester that had the shower bar thingy to control temperature. The hot half was painful to touch, and the shower stall was small enough that it was practically impossible to avoid bumping the thing with an arm while scrubbing/shampooing/etc.

  • Options
    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited May 20
    I don't recall anything of note while we were in Ireland. Certainly figured out the hotel showers and public bathrooms well enough; no one was scaled or did not flush.

    Sadly did not get to use any private bathrooms.

    There was a large portable bathroom parked by the shopping mall. It was a trailer truck with bathrooms you might find at a concert.

    MichaelLC on
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    [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    edited May 20
    If you go to Norway, toilets are about what Dibbit explained. Except at many (but not all) rest stops along the highways, at an ever-shrinking number of cabins (it's the dream of every true Norwegian to own two cabins, one in the mountains and one by the sea, but they're getting increasingly elaborate), and at the "DNT-hytter" (which is where you'll stay if you go hiking and have to stay the night).

    It's the outhouse. Or sometimes the in-house outhouse. They come in two varieties. Either way you'll have a wooden or plastic box with a hole and a toilet seat on top. Below that hole is either a cavern filled with the poop of ages, or a garbage bag with the poop of the last few days. The former is emptied yearly (hopefully not by you) and the latter as needed (probably by you). The cabin my family had in the mountains had the latter until we upgraded to the former (and then my uncle got electricity and proper plumbing installed when he bought it, the lazy bum (I kid)).

    My brother's cabin has a waterless toilet that burns everything to ashes, but if you're just peeing there's a separate toilet with no water in it that just drains to the outside. (He has electricity but no plumbing.)

    [Expletive deleted] on
    Sic transit gloria mundi.
  • Options
    TuminTumin Registered User regular
    edited May 20
    The difference in dignity and sense of well being provided by a rickety plywood elements-exposed seat to the human condition over pooping squatting over a hole is rather profound (to someone very accustomed to Western toilets i.e. me, anyway. Some friends Ive hiked with have laughed at this, but, I mean, a hole is also a big improvement over a wet, steep slope in the rain...)

    Tumin on
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    TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Pay bathrooms still exist in the US, but you pretty much only see them at the trucker-oriented mega-gas-stations on interstates; if you're just visiting a city in the US and don't do any long-distance driving, you'd probably never see one of these. I think they just buy a membership these days and card in and, wildly, they can often be pretty nice and well-cared-for.

    And in urban areas, public bathrooms in the US are definitely strongly in decline. Multiple major cities I've been in in the last few years have basically zero public bathrooms, the bathrooms are entirely in stores and whatnot which are technically accessible to the public but realistically are strongly blocked for use by the homeless. Then you have people turning around and complaining about homeless people defecating in the street and it's like, hey, shitbags, the city took away the public restrooms and business refused to pick up that particular bill, where the fuck are they supposed to go?

    I don't know if you know any long haul truckers but I do and they will fucking -kill- for a nice bathroom experience after a day so I can imagine they police bathroom misdemeanors among themselves quite well.

  • Options
    CaptainBeyondCaptainBeyond I've been out walking Registered User regular
    In the north of Scotland we have running water :)

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    [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    In the north of Scotland we have running water :)

    In the brooks and streams?

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
  • Options
    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    In the north of Scotland we have running water :)

    In the brooks and streams?

    And from the sky

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • Options
    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    In the north of Scotland we have running water :)

    In the brooks and streams?

    And the sky.

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