Chris and I played tourist yesterday. We took the bus to Stockholm for the day. And like any good traveller, I hit the bathroom before boarding the bus. Well, that was my plan, anyway. The bus station had one bathroom, and as is typical in Europe, you must pay to use it. I waited in line outside the bathroom for what seemed like forever. In actuality, it must have been long (you thought I was going to say that it was only a minute, didn’t you?). Two people were in ahead of me, I assume they were a mom and daughter. They were in there a looong time. Suddenly, an older woman goes right up to the door (I resisted telling her that she was budding in line), bangs on the door, and yells something. I assume she told the pair to get a move on because they hustled right out. And they held the door for me! Free pass to the lav!
Well, I zip right in, shut the door, and try to lock it. There is NO LOCK on the inside of the door. Now, I noticed that everyone else could lock the door (it showed it as locked on the outside, and I was in line long enough to take note of this before my turn). I wondered, ‘how the heck do I lock the door?!?’ Last time I didn’t lock a public bathroom door, Richard Simmons (yes. sweatin’-to-the-oldies-Richard-Simmons) walked in on me. I was NOT about to risk that again!
Okay, so here’s how it went. Look, look, look. There must be a lock somewhere on the door. Mutter to myself. No lock on the door. Mutter to myself some more. Hmmm, wait – there are buttons next to the door. Shoot! there are three buttons and only Swedish. No English. Well, how hard can this be? One button is solo. Two buttons are together – one white and one red. I think the red one must be lock (because the symbol on the outside of the door turned red when it was locked) and the white on next to it would be the unlock button. So I press the red one. As you can probably guess, this was not a good choice. Something starts quietly beeping. Hmmmm. What to do, what to so? I open the door. It keeps beeping. Louder. I mean it was pretty loud. I think everyone in the station could hear it. Hmmmm. What to do, what to do?
There is only one thing to do, of course. I walk out of the bathroom, let the door shut behind me, and walk across the station as if I don’t hear a thing. Super nonchalant, that’s me. Until I see Chris. He looks at me, then just looks at the floor and starts laughing. He has no idea why there is an alarm going off, but he does (correctly) assume I had something to do with it. We sit there a few minutes and I tell him what happened. By this time, we have to head outside and board our bus. We walk past the bathroom – everyone is looking at the closed door. There is a red light flashing above the door and loud beeping. We laugh as walk out. Then I fess up that I never even got to go to the bathroom. Then I really get the giggles. Oh, and the first thing Chris says after I told him what happened? ‘You have GOT to put this on your blog!’
Okay. While we are talking about bathroom faux pas, I have one more story. While in Prague, Rachel and I enjoyed tea at U-U-something-something cafe. A pot of tea each. And you know me — I had to go to the bathroom. So, on our way out, Rachel and I find the restroom. It had a cute little painting on the door: a person with wings. We stood there a moment and tried to figure out if it was a boy or girl. the person was wearing pants and a jacket but it had winds. Boy or girl? Unisex, we decided! Rachel went in first and took the far stall. Uh oh, my stall had only a urinal. Um, Rach? I think this is the men’s room! Out we went and looked for another door. Aha! Now it was obvious. The Ladies’ Room painting was definitely a girl. Jury is still out on the other painting. It was obviously the Men’s Room; but the painting? I still say unisex.
Lesson of this post? Go to the bathroom BEFORE leaving the apartment and don’t go again until returning home! Well hey, at least I can laugh at myself. And now you can laugh at me too.