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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 @ 11:13 PM

While Spain has made leaps and bounds in almost every sphere, public lavatories still need some way to go. We may no longer be in the field of the early travel guide which recommended in the brief section under 'Conveniences' to 'where possible, best start your own', but there are still a few problems that need ironing out.

Being a fastidious and modern country, ruled by all sorts of obscure interests - often of a commercial leaning - we must now expect wheelchair-accessible toilets, even if the building in question has a stairway to get to it. Perhaps, you see, you broke your leg after you gained the bar.

Probably tripped over the step.

Some lavvies don't have a seat, for a reason which I shall shortly be examining, and customers, certain customers, may no doubt be obliged to fastidiously hover over the pan. Which is hard on the thigh muscles. At least these thrones will flush in an orderly way as a rule.

Many years ago, my mother pulled the chain of a local dunny and the whole tank fell off the wall and on to her head. The rest of us standing around the bar were left speechless as she returned, drenched, from the servicio. I believe I learned several words I hadn't come across until then. 

Worse still, there are those latrines that don't rinse, and haven't for some time. The lever has disappeared, or maybe it rusted. You probably won't find them in your local bar, but if you find yourself caught short in the wrong neighbourhood, you'll see that, O Lordy, they exist.

One horrid sort of privy is the old-fashioned squatter, which is a kind of perforated porcelain base with two raised bits for your feet, pointing either one way or indeed the other according to the nature of one's purpose.

On the bright side, the days of being invited to put the used paper in a handy nearby basket have more or less passed.

Pissoirs, those elegant against the wall systems, are odd. They are often fixed to the wall in an elevated position, too high for the shorter gentleman. Oddly, in the USA, this tendency is reversed, with the urinal apparently installed for those of a smaller stature. Our local hotel favours these plumbing fixtures in a basement setting, which is fine, only the automatic light tends to go out after a brief time, which can be annoying if one is day-dreaming.

New Spanish bogs have lower and close-to-the-porcelain tanks, so a collapsing reservoir rarely happens anymore, even if the flow in the modern variant is somewhat reduced. They have a small and large flush to save water. Which may explain why customers sometimes feel that their brief visit to the WC is rather second-hand.

Indeed, I once stayed in a very smart hotel in Melilla and, on removing the wrapper on the crapper and lifting the lid, found a large turd in the bowl.

They had a chocolate on the pillow, too.

Talking of low tanks, many modern privies have a pan so close to the flusher than the seat won't stay vertical for the discerning gentlemen. It's hard and unnatural to try and hold the seat up while taking a whizz, so the usual thing is to not bother, and merely piss all over the commode, seat included. Using one foot to hold it up doesn't work either unless you have a good sense of balance and, besides, are seriously well-endowed.

'Yes, I've finished, go ahead' you mutter to the next person as you make your escape.

Maybe as many as a quarter of all public johns have this unfortunate design-flaw, at least around where I live.

One small step better, other thrones have a seat which appears to be steady when lifted to the vertical, but will suddenly fall from the position with a mighty crash. If that doesn't make you jerk mid-stream, nothing will.

It's all because the tank is to close to the khazi, for goodness sake. I can't imagine who designs these things, the potty company or the installers.

It's as if the Nation's fontaneros all sit down to pee - or maybe they have a secret code of humour... 

But Hush!, the Secretary has just informed the President of the Worshipful Guild of Plumbers that he may rise at his convenience and deliver his speech to the congegration. Apart for his tendency to tell fart jokes, one can be sure how he will begin:

'Ladies and Gents...'

Like 4


anthomo16 said:
Saturday, March 4, 2023 @ 9:41 AM

Please do not ever retire i laughed so much the tears are still rolling down my cheeks

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