Lucia has something to say

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Berkeley II

The Faculty Club has unisex bathrooms. Three shower stalls, two with glass doors, none with locks. Three toilets. Three sinks. And a urinal.

There's a level of discomfort with the unisexness. We laugh when a Guatemalan woman says she looks up while brushing her teeth to find two African guys brushing on either side of her. These are great guys. But I don't want to be in a bathroom with them or any of the other men here for that matter. They're colleagues. It's too weird.

A Canadian described inching her clothes off in the shower stall, only have the water "hurtle" to the other side, soaking her jeans. Nothing like tugging on wet jeans in the morning. Towels slung over shower doors. People getting up very, very early to play the odds against seeing anyone else in the bathroom, only to find everyone had the same idea.

At dinner, there are a lot of laughs. There's a certain level of oneupsmanship that comes to play when world travelers tell stories. The bathrooms here spurned on the stories of other bathrooms. No bathrooms are topped by odd bathrooms. A Nigerian man tells about a hotel bathroom in Mali that had a half curtain, hanging from the top of the door. He rigged up a sheet, since the bathroom door was in full view of the room door. And we laughed. When a New Zealand woman told about being on a boat and being told to go in a hole that was hovering above baby crocodiles, the whole conversation had spiraled to its pinnacle. And after that, the stories ceased.

I like sitting at meetings with creative people from all over the world. From Kenya and Peru, the UK and Australia, India, Guatemala and Nigeria, the Netherlands. It's stimulating, enlightening, and real.


Blogger QT said...

I have been in some dicey bathrooms - but none with baby crocs hovering below my rear. That takes the cake!

It sound slike you are having a blast - good for you!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ok, crocs give me the oogies, but I can't imagine doing THAT to one of their babies.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Bobealia... said...

You need a towel for every side of the shower stall to begin with...

4:17 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

oh, lucia...keep your ears open for me. i so want to keep your kind of company. i so do.

4:51 PM  
Blogger magickat said...

i guess in addition to love, bathroom horror stories are universal as well. it's so funny how shy we all are about such things.

5:03 PM  
Blogger GLH JR said...

I had to pee in the kitchen in Taiwanese restaurant once. The women had a closed room, but the men, we had a urinal next to the fishpond where after I peed I turned around, picked out our catch, and watched the cook catch it, slam it to the ground and cook it all in 5sq feet.

Many more bathroom stories where that one came from.

10:19 PM  
Blogger karmic said...

I loved reading the stories about bathrooms from around the world. :)

8:34 AM  
Blogger Lynnea said...

You see, once again the essence of travel stories gets revealed in bathrooms...

1:10 PM  
Blogger Gordo said...

I was very glad that I read "The Beach" on the long flight to Bangkok: I never would have have been prepared for squat toilets otherwise. Let alone, the hose. LOL

1:29 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

and to think, we weren't allowed potty talk at the table!

9:29 AM  
Blogger pei wei said...

hi lucia i am back! glad to see you are still wearing the travelling pants :)

11:39 AM  
Blogger Susan as Herself said...

I have heard a few crazy bathroom tales from foreign nations... always enlightening. Makes you so happy to sit on smoothly coated porcelain behind a latched door.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It's stimulating, enlightening, and real.

Especially when they're about toilets! :)

2:53 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Here's a solution... Everyone must close their eyes when they enter and navigate by calling out "Marco" and "Polo."

3:14 PM  
Blogger gary rith said...

I think unisex bathrooms are fine, if they are for just one person at a time. Why does everybody have to hang around together in the bathroom like this, some kind of bonding thing?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Jasika said...

If everyone is in the bathroom at the same time, who is sitting at the table talking about the awkward double date?

Your life sounds beautiful.

11:44 AM  

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