Schiphol Airport: Great Dutch Art and Odd Urinal Decals
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 13 of 14 › view all entries
June 10th, 2007 – by: sshephard
Besides the mall-like nature of Schiphol, there are a couple other things that I am compelled to mention.
On the less cerebral side of life at Schiphol, the other thing that strikes me are the urinals in the mensâ€™ rooms.
Such is the nature of international travel that after 15 days of travel through Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Greece, I am left pondering urinals. But toilets actually are one of the interesting aspects of life in other countries. American life is so incredibly heterogeneous. The same fast food wherever we go, the same department stores, and the same type of toilets. â€śWhat could be different about toilets?â€ť you ask. Travel the world and find out.
But before you go on your quest, Iâ€™ll just tell you a little about handles. Ours are silver and generally on the upper left side of the tank. But in Europe there is great diversity. Knobs on the top that you pull up. Tanks mounted on the wall above the stool with knobs that you pull down. And knobs that are cleverly hidden when the toilet seat is raised. But the best toilets have variable flush mechanisms. Push the little button on the top of the tank and you get a little flush; press the big button next to it and get a big flush. I wonâ€™t go into the details because I suspect that you can figure it out. But the bottom line (forgive the play on words) is that water is more precious to Europeans and they need to be a little more conservative than most of us in the USA.
There are better things for me to comment on (like European coffee and whether stop signs really mean â€śstop.â€ť) But instead Iâ€™ll say that one of the real reasons I like foreign travel is the diversity. Things are different - the food, the cars, the clothing, not to mention the language. Or the toilets.
Having said that, I am looking forward to getting home where you can say, â€śHow about those Twins, then?â€ť and people will understand. And where, in most American households, you could visit a bathroom in the dark, reach for the flush handle on the upper left side of the tank and get a big flush time and again.
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