Saturday, July 02, 2005

when bathrooms can be scary

Last night, Steph and I attended the retirement dinner of a colleague of his. It was your typical French dinner, with a hundred courses (ok, five) and lasted five hours. Well for us it was five hours. We were the second couple to leave, missing the coffee service, so god only knows how long the rest hung out.

The thing that struck me as odd, for an American, is that the guest of honor paid for the whole shebang. In the states, a retirement celebration can vary from a handshake and a cake (or in the old days, a gold watch), to a full-blown dinner, but in every case, the guest of honor is just that - a guest. We did chip in for some lovely parting gifts, however.

Finally, if you want to know why, like the title suggests, bathrooms can be scary, and you're not weak of heart, please click "Tell me more!" to continue.

In France, in the older bars and restaurants, there still exist what is commonly referred to as "Turkish bathrooms." Obviously I mean no disrespect to the Turks, but this is the only way I've ever heard of it spoken, so if you call it something else, please feel free to enlighten me.

But what is a Turkish bathroom? Why, it's a hole in the ground, with a horizontal bar (like you might find in a handicap stall) for leverage. Obviously, boys have zero problems with this, but I'm sure you can imagine it poses something of a problem for us ladies.

Nature called several times last night, and I ignored her as long as I could. Finally I just went and did it.

I feel like I've been initiated into some sort of club. Do we get hats or something?

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