Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This post is a rant about loos…. Public, private and all others in between…… and no, it isnt about why men cant put the seat up….its not even about their abilities or the lack of it to point and shoot….. I haven’t shared a loo with any men other than my brother and K, so really this is’nt about men…..
I have a thing about using public loos and also loos in other people’s homes….i still find it very awkward to ask someone if I can use their loo…..so I don’t if I can manage….and the state of public loos, in restaurants, theatres and other public places included…..the less said the better….
The one thing I cant understand is why we have done away with indian style squatty potties? Every public loo is now western style….. indian toilets are way more hygienic to use….which makes them more suited for public usage…. But somehow, this fact seems to have been missed by the builders of public loos…..ofcourse western loos are more comfortable to do your business on…. But hey!! Who really wants to sit on a dripping wet and not to mention shabbily used western seat?
I  don’t use it ( a public loo) if I can help it….but with a self imposed habit of drinking close to 5 litres of water a day, I sometimes just “have to go”…… I wouldn’t if I can help it… I can literally handle the pressure till I reach home….. but this isnt healthy I know…so there are times when I just have to make do….
I always carry tissue paper with me… in my purse/ handbag/stuffed in my jeans or jacket pocket… but I always carry a few…. The regular 2 ply hand tissues work good…. You never know when you will need them!! I wipe the seat of the toilet if I can, there’s nothing worse than wet spots on your clothes that you got from using a wet toilet seat. Plus, I never squat on a toilet seat if it is a public toilet…...they’re the seat of infection….and I don’t want to be sitting on the throne all night with burning sensation in never never land!! Just suspend mid air…helps if you can balance, and do the deed…. I’ll also be forever indebted to the woman who I first saw rolling up her pant legs before entering a toilet…..to keep them from getting wet…..it was a lesson for life!! Ignore those who give you funny looks as you do this….
I am forever paranoid about who touched what after they went where…. So I carry a hand sanitizer (I bought mine from health and glow outlets…earlier I would beg friends/ relatives to bring it from abroad)….this is 100% alchohol in a gel base. And kills all germs…so if there’s no water and germ killing soap in sight after you use the loo, use this. I don’t care about people telling me the smell is strong….i use it regardless….i cant control too much of what others do, but i try to make things easier for myself….
if the toilet is dirty, i always come out and ask the housekeeping staff to clean it before using it…there’s no need to suffer a dirty toilet when help is at hand. Be polite and a small tip always is welcome. Most often, they’re happy to do it if asked politely.
I head to the first toilet closest to the door. Most often people bypass this one ….. I read this somewhere….assuming it would be the most used and therefore more dirty….actually the opposite is true….these are the least used!!
extend the courtesy and leave the loo as clean as you can / it was before you used it…..
if the health faucet / water gun/ hygiene faucet (I simply call it the bum gun) is dripping visibly, it will probably spray water all over the place, except where it is aimed at….so stay away from it....that's why its prudent to carry tissue!!
ok.... now that i have all of that out of me... i wonder if i'm the only looney who gets crazy when i have to use a public loo!! shall stop!!


Usha said...

It could have been me writing this. I am paranoid about using public toilets but when you are out all day it isn't always possible to wait till you get back home. Some of these tips are really useful.
I cannot understand why people find it so difficult to leave the loo clean even where it is mostly frequented by educated people. I find the toilet roll trailing all over the loo, water splashed or unflushed.
You arent the only looney - you have company here. :)

Swapna said...


d said...

are you the only one? not if i can help it! in loo paranoia you are my soul sistah!

every single point you covered (no point my going over them again!) is true for me too (well maybe except for the first one as you enter thing - they are all equally dirty and first among equals does'nt apply here!) (oh and also i don't drink any water at all unlike you).

in addition - after coming out of loo, wash hands. after washing hands, collect water in right hand cupped. then close tap with left hand and lastly finish off with washing left hand with water collected in right hand!!! i swear i do this. am not making it up. and like you i too learned it from a super paranoid colleague!

also when drinking tea / coffee outside home always hold cup in left hand and drink. that way you are drinking from the other side of the cup than most people would have put their lips to!

have'nt you heard of toilet seat covers? try and get those. (i have'nt yet got any!). in very very clean loos if you are agreeable to touching bum to toilet seat then first line with disposable seat covers - or then like me - with lots of toilet paper.

do you have kids? if you do i'll tell you how to carry them in a public loo - face outwards - so that neither they nor you have to touch any part of the loo! stand behind kid, both of you facing outwards. put your hands under childs knees and carry child like that, with your forearms along childs thighs, lifting childs legs off the ground. now when child pees aim it into the loo!

if you EVER have to crap in a public loo (horror of horrors, shudder shudder shudder, tere muh mein keede makoude etc etc etc) always sit on the very edge so that nothing EVER has a chance of splashing on bum!

if you ever want to co author a book on the subject, contact me.

- d

Aparna said...

One of my pet peeves too though I've never put it down. And my daughter shares it too!

Btw, the reason for the slow extinction of Indian loos probably has something to do with our becoming so sedentary and heavy that our knees can't take the pressure of a squat.:)