Sunday, October 31, 2010


Hey all, its Halloween today so I wanted to share with you some images from a shaky-hard-to-watch youtube video that I was linked to (thanks Evan).

Let me set the stage: You are at some sleezy club, and its Halloween. You go into the bathroom to go pee.

Hrmmm.....there aren't any dividers for the toilets or anything. Oh well....

Hey look, there's an available toilet.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm a big fan of being direct, of getting right to the point, of not beating around the bush, etc. But sometimes it can go too far.

There's no mystery. Sometimes you want mystery.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gender Equality, Continued

It's not that often that you get to follow an idea as it evolves. In my previous post, I showed you how the makers of a portable urinal have adapted it for female use. But their solution did nothing to address the core question: Why was the original version of the urinal easier for a man to use than it is for a woman? It is clearly because men can aim. Think of all the other places where this ability to aim comes in handy, like when you are standing up. Well, the people of SHENIS have developed the universal solution:

Here it is in action:

Thanks to Phil for the link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gender Equality

My dad is a private pilot and sometimes we take relatively long trips in a small little Cessna. By long, I mean ~5 hours, and by small little cessna, I mean it doesn't have any bathrooms. How can you take a 5 hour trip without a bathroom? Why, you purchase an HRE- Human Range Extender, like this one, the Little John*:

A brightly colored, portable urinal.

Now, this may seem a little bit unfair. Obviously it is far easier for a man to essentially pee in a bottle than it is for a woman to do the same. Thankfully, the bathroom engineers responsible for this product spent some time tackling this entrenched inequity and developed the Lady J adapter:

They go together like this:

Problem solved.

Someone once told me that every great journey begins with a trip to the bathroom. Gender equality will prevail.

*Note: Apparently a competitor to the Little John was marketed under the name "The Wall Street Urinal"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Toilet Themed Restaurant

I got linked to a blog post about a toilet themed restaurant in Taiwan. Seemingly everything about this place has to do with toilets...

From the seats...

To the decor....

Don't worry though, dear readers, for I have saved the best picture for last, like a little bit of dessert:


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Mood

This guy is in a bad mood...

Do you think somebody took a shit in his cornflakes this morning? lol

Friday, October 22, 2010

Self Esteem

One of the best ways, in my opinion, to improve your self esteem, is to put yourself out there and get yourself into uncomfortable situations. That way, when you go through your normal life, a potentially awkward situation doesn't seem so bad. Lets say, for example, that you are a guy who is self conscious about the size of his, ahem, endowment. Perhaps he should use this restroom:

Especially the stall with the girl taking a picture, lol.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Urinal Fly

So the folks over at have a company entirely devoted to making little decals that airports/restaurants/etc. can put on their urinals. Supposedly, their research has shown that having a target to aim for increases accuracy, making sure that the urine ends up in the urinal and not on the floor.

Here is a picture of their product in action:

Seems like a good idea to me, but perhaps a little bit too subtle. Here's another take on the same concept:

Much more my style :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Toilet Fit For A King

From Lyon (via Brooks):

I just can't help but get the image of Borat sitting on this, saying "I'm the king in the castle, king in the castle."

Who said the French didn't have classy bathrooms?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is another one from Emily: Photos from a bathroom in a discount store in North Carolina.

What is the target audience for these ads? People who came into the store exclusively to use the bathroom? They should try this at Dennys (my bathroom of choice!)

Caring About What Other People Think

Everyone cares about what other people think to some degree...that's just part of living in society. The amount, however, depends on each individual. I, for example, have a blog about toilets.

Where do you think this guy lies on the spectrum?

I mean what kind of balls does it take to talk to someone on the phone while you are on the shitter? Oh ya and the whole outside thing too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


These pictures come from a coffeshop in Amsterdam, the 420 Cafe. Now, as you may very well know, when you drink alot of coffee, you will inevitably have to go to to the bathroom. This bathroom had a very specific message: "Do not use me to take a dump." How did I arrive at this conclusion?

Exhibit 1:

Notice the lack of a seat?

Exhibit 2:

These are the doors from the 'sink' area to the 'toilet' area. I don't know if you have a vivid memory of old westerns with their stereotypical swinging doors, but they don't exactly lock. These swinging doors are no exception. The door from the cafe into the 'sink' area also doesn't lock.

Now, what happens when a door to the bathroom doesn't lock? People walk in on other people. I hung out in this cafe a few times because it was really close to my hostel, and I saw someone walk in on another person 4 or 5 times (I did it once as well).

At least the walls had cool designs!

(Note: I am flying home to California tomorrow, so this might be the last post for a day or two :) )

Why Do Squatting Toilets Exist?

After coming across several squatting toilets, the obvious question that comes to mind is "WHY!" I have my theories, mainly that they are sort of an intermediary between an actual toilet and a straight up hole in the ground. To me, that explains why they are more common in the more rural southern France than in Paris. I wanted to double check, however, so I went to the wikipedia page for squat toilets.

There is a surprising amount of information here, including a section titled "Advantages of squat toilets." ADVANTAGES? As in squat toilets might be better than real toilets? I had to read on. Here is the content of that section with some comments:

Some benefits of using squat toilets are:
It is less expensive and easier to clean and maintain.[2]

OK....this makes sense and agrees with my intuition about squat toilets being a result of under-development.

It does not involve any contact between the buttocks and thighs with a potentially unsanitary surface.[3]

This is also a legitimate reason. In fact, when faced with a public restroom, different people go through all sorts of rituals to avoid 'touching' the toilet, be it squatting over the toilet anyways, using one of those disposable toilet seat covers, or constructing one out of toilet paper.

The absence of water in the bowl avoids the problem of water splashing upwards.

Well....there better not be any water in there, because with the fall distance from squatting that would be really disgusting

Squatting might help to build the required exhaust pressure more comfortably and quickly.[4]

WHAT? Regardless of how crazy this claim may be, its ok because the wiki author cited a 1944 gastroenterology paper.

Squatting makes elimination faster, easier and more complete.[5]

Similar claim, similarly strange source. The source paper is titled "Impact of Ethnic Habits on Defecographic Measurements" and is from the Archives of Iranian Medicine. apparently a word.

Elimination in squatting posture protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.[6]

...From a paper about Prostate disorders

Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.[7]
Squatting securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation.[8]


So, in case you were still wondering, THAT's why they exist. If you have been converted, perhaps you might want to look into the following device:

It allows you to convert a regular toilet into a squatting toilet!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Squatty Potties"

This next picture comes all the way from India (Thanks Emily!).

Notice the flush-tank in the back. Pretty technological, and much better than the french-squirt-water-along-the-walls-and-floor method that we saw earlier. Actually, its a good thing too, because the brown floor is actually dirt. And would turn into mud. And that would suck.

Oh ya: You also have to bring your own toilet paper. LOL

And another thing: If you have any weird bathroom pictures, send me an email! alexandermyers at

Toilets Without Any Seats

What is the deal with having a toilet that doesn't have a seat? I am fortunate enough to have a big butt, so its not really that big of a deal for me, but still...for the average person its like the owner of the toilet is saying "you still have to squat, but we thought this was a little bit classier than a hole in the floor."

I used to have a Spanish teacher in highschool that was from Spain. Every time somebody would leave the class to go to the restroom he would yell down the hall, in Spanish, "Don't fall in." Maybe he grew up without toilet seats in Spain as well....

This was a free restroom in Arles. Simple, functional-- I guess its better than nothing.

But this one...

I paid a whole euro to use this restroom (in the TGV station in Avignon)! And what the hell, it has those little metal posts that look like seat hinges. (I checked to see if maybe my stall was just missing its seat-- no, they are all like that).

It can't be a money issue. Here's the sink that goes with that toilet, and it has a bunch of extra doodads.

The center thing shoots out water. The other two things do....nothing? at all?

I also don't want to give the impression that the French don't know what a toilet should look like. This is the bathroom on the TGV:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peeing in the Rainforest

I went to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant tonight, with my two hosts in Paris (A frenchman and a brazilian). We had brazilian food, while listening to brazilian music, watching brazilians dance, and drinking brazilian drinks (a caipirinha). It was to my surprise, however, that the establishment would also have a brazilian bathroom. Here are two pictures:

You see that little mini rainforest in the corner? That's how you know it's an authentic, brazilian peeing experience.

Shy Bladder Syndrome

There are some people that have shy bladder syndrome wherein they do not like to pee when other people can see them. I would assume that there are similarly shy poopers. These are serious psychological conditions folks...nothing funny about a person who really needs to use the restroom but is overcome by anxiety because there are other people around. (Actually what am I saying, that's hilarious.) Here are two bathrooms I found on the internet that must be the epitome of evil for people who suffer from either or these conditions.


From Snopes

This second set of pictures is an artist's installation that was in Basel, Switzerland for a while. The bathroom is surrounded by a two way mirror, if you didn't get that from the pictures :P

Epic Bathroom Trek

Lets say you are wandering around Arles and you really have to go pee. Fast. You find a little restaurant and sit down at an outside table, hoping the waitress will come over so you can order a drink and ask her where the bathroom is. This is Southern France, so she takes her time as you sit there shaking your legs, doing a sitting version of the pee dance. Finally she comes over and gives you some directions. You enter the physical establishment, hang a left. At the end of the hall you see a door with "toilettes" written on it. "FINALLY! RELIEF!" you think to yourself. You open the door. This is what is on the other side:

How in the world do they cram so many stairs into such a small space?

At least it was a nice toilet at the top.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paying to Use a Restroom Part 2

Right outside of the Louvre in Paris there is a huge shopping mall. LIke any other place that attracts alot of foot traffic, there are bathrooms there. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is pretty normal for Europe that you have to pay to use these bathrooms. How much you ask? Well, that depends.

You see, this bathroom has a menu of prices. Now, I don't speak French particularly well, but I was able to cobble together some meaning out of this.

1 Euro to use the bathroom.
1.5 Euro to use the bathroom in a "Cabine Spa." I think this means you get to use a bidet, though I am not sure.
2 Euro for a Mother/Child combo bathroom.
5 Euro for a 5-pack. (This doesn't make any sense to me.)
1 Euro for a Feminine Hygiene kit.

When I first saw the prices, however, I imagined the following scenario. (Note: If this happens to you in a few years, you saw it here first, and hopefully it means that I was able to start a bathroom empire)

Customer: "Excuse me, how much does it cost to use the restoom?"
Attendant: "Well that depends...What did you eat for dinner last night?"
Customer: "Uh....Spicy Mexican Food."
Attendant: "That will be 15 euros please."

Also, here is a wall of toilet paper rolls they had in the pay-area-lobby-thing of this particular bathroom.

Paying to Use a Restroom

If you have ever travelled in Europe, you have probably encountered the phenomenon of having to pay a nominal admission fee in order to use a restroom. Generally you are in some public place (bus station, airport, etc.), follow the signs to the bathroom, and are greeted with a woman (it always seems to be a woman) sitting behind a desk. You have to pay anywhere betwen .50€ and 1€. That alone is sort of strange at first, but you quickly see the advantages: Nowhere else in the world does a grimy bus terminal have nice bathrooms with a dedicated cleaning staff. Sometimes, however, there are strange variations on this theme.

In one of the train stations in Paris, this machine controls your entrance into the bathroom (via a turnstile). It costs .70€, doesn't give any change, and only accepts 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. Its sort of like something you would see on a bus or trolley, except instead of being in a hurry to sit down and let other people get on board, you are in a hurry to go to the bathroom and make it to your train.

Now, as an American (and someone who studied Economics), I can see the advantages of automating the bathroom admissions process so that they don't have to hire a "cashier." On the wall behind this terminal there were two out of order change machines. If you don't have the right change for this bathroom, just to the right of this picture is....a woman sitting behind a desk. She doesn't really have that much to do because of this machine, freeing her up to chat with the cleaning staff.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WARNING: Do Not Use With Flip-flops

I got over the initial shock and proceded to use the toilet pictured in the previous post (Thank god I only had to go pee....). After a certain point, the bathroom decided that I was finished and it was time to flush. How does a hole in the floor flush itself you ask?

Alright, you think to yourself (or at least, I thought to myself): That's pretty reasonable. Would've been nice if it didn't just start automatically, before I was done, but it was a free public toilet after all. Well that was just phase 1. Immediately after the conclusion of phase 1, phase 2 began.

You see that little metal circle on the floor that is behind you if you are facing forward in the bathroom? That squirts water out too (along the floor, towards the hole). Surprise! Do not attempt with flip-flops.

Oh My....Somebody Stole The Toilet

My family had just arrived in Arles (Southern France) and the first thing I did was ask the tourism office about the closest public bathroom. They tell me there is one across the street. I open the door to this stall in the middle of the sidewalk, and this is what I see in the floor in front of me.

Here's another pic: