Paris toilets. And other things.
So my question (one of many, as I'm sure you've discovered by now), is:
WHY MAKE GOING TO THE BATHROOM SO COMPLICATED, EH PARIS?
So I get in on the train. Oh, I should mention that when I was in Montpellier, I did like I said and went to a pharmacy looking for a sleep aid for the overnight train. Cause despite the fact that it was marketed as party train, I was not partying. Haha! Can you picture me!? Doing that?! Hahaha!
Anyways. Went to the pharmacy. Asked for a sleeping aid. A what now? A slipping aid? QUE? Finally there was a bilingual person around who helped me... or rather, translated what I wanted to the cashier, who turned her evil eye on me. After much confusion it was decided that I was NOT in fact a drug addict looking for sleeping pills, but just a simple traveller who had a lengthy train ride in front of her and needed a little sumthin sumthin to help out. Oh. Is that all? Well, here you go, 10 extra strength pills for a mere EUR 1.75! Bon journee!
I took one of these pills, yes I did, and it conked me out big time. I woke up at 7:20am at the Gare de Lyon in Paris, and set about to find a bathroom and my way to Montmartre.
Public bathrooms. *shakes head sadly* WHY? WHY SO COMPLICATED?
I drag my suitcases, rather heavy for someone still half dozed at 7am, up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, etc. Hey, never heard of wheelchair accessibility? Grumble, political correctness, grumble.
Finally find the unmarked public bathroom in the basement of the train station, and find myself confronted with gates, tokens, guards, public showers (?) and a confusing arrangement of lineups. First off the bat, is there somewhere to put my bags? Cause they ain't fitting through the gate, and you know, they contain valuables. A gesture towards a corner. 'Ici?' 'mumble/gesture' 'uh, okay...' *moves over slightly* 'ici?' the whole lineup gets involved. No, not there. THERE. THERE! AROUND THE CORNER! NO, NOT THAT CORNER! HAHAHA! LAUGH AT THE ENGLISH SPEAKING FOREIGN PERSON! TRYING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! HAHAHAHA!
That sorted, trade 50 cents for a token. Accidently try to put the token into the men's washroom lineup. The payment lineup brigade gets involved again. WRONG BATHROOM! HAHAHA! SEE THE TINY PAINTED SIGN? WAY UP IN THE CEILING? HAHA! SHE THINKS SHE'S A MAN!
My mistake. Grumble. 7 in the fricken morning. Sleeping pills.
Tiniest public toilet ever. No toilet paper. This is what I paid 50 cents for? Grumble.
One sink serving 5 cubicles. Excellent. Loving it. No soap. 50 cents. 7am. Grumble.
Anyways. I made it, obviously. That was stressful just to write out.
Oh, I'm in Berlin now, though. More hilarious travel anecdotes later, but for now I'll leave you with a thought:
- Haribo Goldbaren (gummi bears). 180g bag at Netto in Copenhagen: 18-25 dkk ($3-5)
- Haribo Goldbaren (gummi bears). 300g bag at Netto in Berlin: EUR 0.89 ($1)
I wouldn't lie to you about this. So I have stocked up, yes I have, and there is no weight limit on my carryon to CPH, thank goodness. Thank you Berlin for existing.