I was a relative newbie expat in the Netherlands when I first formed my opinion about paying to use a toilet when I was out and about.
During my three pregnancies I needed pockets full of change just to be able to leave the house. I moved from one public toilet to the next, leaving coins on white plates for the pleasure.
I felt like I was being robbed blind. Paying to use a toilet indeed.
All that changed when my eyes were opened to the joys of a free public toilet during my summer holidays in Cornwall, England.
“Rancid,” said my husband, shaking his head, as he brought our son back out of a public toilet still crossing his legs and looking more and more visibly pained and upset.
I’ve ended up taking one or both of our toilet trained sons in to the ladies toilets on many occasions. British women, it seems, have higher levels of public toilet hygiene than British men, and a quick visit is doable as long as you don’t touch anything. Ever. You need to master the art of hover weeing.
So I’ve learnt the hard way that I’d rather pay my 25 cents for a visit to a clean, fresh smelling toilet with an ample supply of toilet paper and soap than have a free wee in a stinky, pee covered cubicle with no sign of toilet paper or soap.
Oh, fourteen years ago I could never have imagined myself uttering these words but ….. the Dutch sooo know what they are doing when it comes to public toilets.
What do you think? Happy to pay for clean facilities? What is the norm where you live – is it free to pee or are a few coins usually needed to use public toilets?