Brilliant! There are lots of "other" things you can do at the site but I'll leave you to explore them on your own. Right now it's Sharing time....
My family has a secret.
It's not a very well kept secret. Spend any amount of time with my extended "crew" and it will become abundantly clear. They LOVE public restrooms. Love em! At least thats my assumption. We cannot "arrive" at any destination without at least one member of my family saying ....."I have to pee."
It doesn't matter if we left the last location 15 minutes before hand and they "made a tinkle" whilst there.
Feet hit the ground...."I gotta pee."
Inevitably this leads to someone else falling prey to the power of suggestion and answering with the inescapable..."Me too." It used to be just the women 'til my Brother-in-law succumbed to "the Dark Side" and now his bladder has shrunk to the size of an acorn.
So why does this bother me you may ask? (well aren't YOU the nosy one!?)
What's the big deal?
It is a drain on time.
Where's the bathroom?
Do they have a bathroom?
I hope they have a bathroom?
They must have a bathroom.
Is it over there?
It's usually in the back.
Why in the back? It should be upfront!
I know why do they do that?
I don't know.
Should we ask someone?
Yes let's ask someone?
Excuse me do you work here?
No? Do you know where the bathroom is?
Do you speak English?
¿Dónde está el baño?
Ou est la WC?
Oh My GAWD I HAVE TO PEE! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS DECENT WHERE IS THE BATHROOM!
Once the directions have been discovered there is the trip into...
Since it's primarily the women who maintain this tradition there is of course the unavoidable "line" to get into the bathroom. I recently learned that the "visible" line is merely a queue for the "staging" area. The staging area is where women apparently must "prepare" to pee. This area then filters not into three separate lines (assuming there are 3 potential locations to relieve oneself), as is the custom in a men's room, but into a single, first arrived/first relieved line for one of three occupied stalls. This means that the whole process can be "log jammed" by one idiot! The trip is further exacerbated by the mechanics of female urination rituals.
The evaluation of the toilet seat condition.
Locating proper "barrier materials" to apply to the toilet seat.
The construction of the barrier.
The approach...selection of hand position, determination of necessary "hovering height", etc.
The balancing act off of aforementioned impenetrable barrier "just in case."
the all important dismount. (Oh! The French Judge is particularly difficult and has given a 3.4... that's gonna hurt!)
Then of course the washing of the hands.
The primping of the hair.
The discussion of the deplorable conditions, terrible line, latest yada yada, etc.
and of course time to harangue the French judge Jon McEnroe style. (What do you mean I didn't stick the landing?! I ALWAYS stick the landing!)
Then begins the return trip. or as I prefer to call it....
The Long and Winding Road
The reason that the bathroom is placed in the farthest reaches of most stores is simple. Store designers know all of the above. They KNOW it is the women who are going to need to use these facilities most often. They know women in a store are easily distracted by shiny, pretty things, placed at eye level, on every single end cap of every aisle on the way back to the front of the store. THEY KNOW!
By the time this party of adventurers has returned, mission accomplished I usually turn to see that my 6 year old son has been afflicted with some sort of spastic palsy, which forces him to shift his weight back and forth on his feet, whilst tugging at the crotch of his pants. His cherubic little face has begun to bloom bright red and a panic in his eyes confirms......he has entered, full on, into the ancestral "pee dance."
And turning heel, sporting the beaten, frustrated, grimace of fathers the world over I can be seen heading off down the aisle, toward the far back of the store, in a near sprint, mumbling through my gritted teeth...
"WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO WHEN THEY WERE GOING?!!!!!!!!"
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