Sunday, March 22

Little Difference #11

Little Difference #11 - European Potties

Since the house was as clean and organized as it would ever get (thanks to my pre-guest cleaning binge) I decided to update my Pink House photo album. I took some pics of the guest room, the stairway and then made my way into our main bathroom. It was there that I ran into another little difference - our potty or toilet, as called by most grown-ups.

As you can see it is sleeker, dare I say sexier than it's clunky American counterpart. It doesn't have a tank. I guess that means I don't have to worry about changing the flapper. It also doesn't have the pedestal part that gets sealed onto the floor. I'll tell ya, I don't miss cleaning that part. And those white screw covers on each side that get all dusty and gross. Don't have 'em here. But the real interesting detail is the flusher. It is those 2 silver buttons mounted above the toilet. The big button is for . . .um, when you need a big flush and the smaller button is just for pee. The dual flush system. Pretty cool. It is eco-friendly as it uses less water to flush. I'm not current with the toilet market in the U.S. Are these available there? Or something similar? I know we have water saving toilets . . .

Although I'm a newbie here, I do know that Europe has a wide variety of toilets and flushers (or lack there of.) In Luxembourg, though this is generally the type of toilet you'll find. In Italy there was a bidet in every place we stayed. When I was in India (9 years ago) I saw many squat toilets. I had no idea what they were and how to use them. So I just held it. Nothing like walking into a public bathroom and seeing a sink on the floor and a bucket. Still not sure I have the understanding and confidence needed to make that work.

Do you have a toilet story? Potty talk is welcome here!

16 comments:

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

hooray..love these little difference posts. I will have to dig around in my old photos for a pic of my toliet in Japan. It was a squat potty in my apartment with a little sink built right on top. The positive side of squat potties is that they are good for your leg muscles! I also laughed when I read about not having to clean around those nasty screw covers. I was cursing those things this past weekend in my quest to clean our house.

poppyart said...

this made me giggle! the worst squatter loo was in turin... and i had long flowing linen trousers on. it is a lingering, not so romantic, memory from our honeymoon. the loos we put in are very similar to yours - another great part is that as the button is behind the raised loo seat, it HAS to be lowered to flush - no more sitting on the rim when the blokes have left the seat up.

Mama Llama said...

I think that you can purchase dual flush toilets here (the US) but you have to look for them. They aren't standard issue.

I have such a fear of squat toilets, and of being without TP. No matter where I travel, I bring along a roll, and I never leave my hotel without some. I'm adventurous, but not that adventurous.

Claudine said...

I came across a few squatters in Romania, and it was usually when I was in dire straits and HAD to use them. Not so great. I'll take hard to clean screw covers any day! :) I love reading your posts about all the little differences you're finding, it makes me miss Europe!

Anandi said...

Wow, your toilet looks so modern! Reminds me of the one in a hotel I stayed at in Germany.

Having visited India several times as a kid, I had to learn how to use one of those squat toilets because sometimes that's all that was available if we were out and about. It is yucky. Worst is the one on the train, where you can see the train tracks whizzing by under the toilet. (Don't think about that one too much...)

Keith Palmer said...

They just installed "dual flushers" in the Aurora Village Costco.
I have some photos of privvies from the third world that will curl your toenails.

ksjjpalmer said...

whoops! That last comment was from me, Susan, on Keith's computer.

Monkey's Mama said...

I have a few friends who have dual-flush toilets now. My worst toilet moment was in the outskirts of Hong Kong oh and one in Greece! Bleah!

Christy@pipandsqueak said...

You can find a dual flush toilet. I saw one at a "Green" store for about $350-400. I saw one at our city convention center too. We lived in Norway last year and almost every toilet was dual flush.

Marilyn said...

Reading your blog makes me miss my time in Europe...I was there before digital photography was the thing and so, don't have tons of pics. Thanks for the walks down memory lane! My first sqat toilet experience was in Switzerland...I was backpacking through Europe and walked in to see two footprints and a hole...and kept right on walking. Having the ability to "hold it" is a plus!!!

Juleskis said...

Ryan and Alan had toilets similar to that in their condo...I like the idea of not having to change the flapper because I hvae to do that ALL THE TIME. certainly is much sleeker than ours.

AudreyQ said...

It would of course be toilets that finally make me stop lurking. We have a dual-flush toilet from EcoHaus in Seattle. We had to get one after using them when we lived in Japan 16 years ago. The US is so behind the times when it comes to conservation. In my house in Japan, I had a Western-style toilet, but it didn't flush. Instead it sat atop a big hole with a fan in it and every few months I'd have to stay home from work to let the men with the big vacuum truck in to come and get rid of the...stuff. I was a leery of it at first. It seemed like a permanent port-a-potty, but it never got stinky at all.

The Smith's said...

I visted Romania in 2006 and the public restrooms were.. dare I sa interesting. We had to pay to use most of them and we may or may not be handed 2 squares of toilet paper (luckily I was carryingmyown around in a back pack) There was also nowhere to sit! It was a hole in the floor with theselittle peddles for you to stand on and "aim" Ill pst a photo on my blog at
www.smithfamilyx6.blogspot.com

This Girl loves to Talk said...

Australian toilets have the 'big' flush and 'little' flush.. but the toilet in our house is similar style to US.. big ones with the tank and screwed to the ground..

I got scared in the US as your bowls fill with water very high!!! ours only fill at the bottom and the flush pushes it away so they dont fill with water

you have a nice looking toilet there!!

Andie said...

ok I had to follow the link to the squat toilet...gross.

nikki said...

Well, I haven't used one yet, but I saw some bidets in Japan that look so high tech :P it even has a remote control. It has features like keeping toilet seats warm, an air freshener of some sort, and oddly, there's a button that creates a "fake flushing sound" or some other sound. probably that's to mask the sound that you're actually doing haha! :P

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