Friday, May 15, 2009

Whiz kids...

While I was in Amsterdam, I took in all the sights, took pictures and compared things there to what I am accustomed to in the United States. There were many things I really loved, some were a bit surprising to me, such as the men's urinals on street corners.

While we were walking the streets, I kept seeing little partitioned structures on street corners with little basins on them. Not seeing anyone near at first, I reasoned that they must be some sort of hand washing structure. Thankfully I did not try that out since a couple minutes later a guy sauntered up, unzipped and relieved himself.


It was a very public urinal right there on the street corner.

Since I was a wee bit shocked, I missed taking pictures of these structures -- nothing spotlights you as a tourist more than taking a picture of a public whiz spot. But the concept of whizzing in public was thankfully limited to men. Women had to go hunt down the very limited bathrooms---if you were lucky, the cafe let you use their bathrooms as in the case of the Esprit cafe near Spui. They were very gracious about it since I was probably sounding like a really desperate American.

As I said, I didn't get pictures, but this blog has a great example of one. See? IT IS NOT ENCLOSED!!

However, I guess it is better to have these since I'm sure that the men who have the gumption to whiz at these would just as easily relieve themselves in the canals, on buildings etc.... much like college bars on a Friday night in America, come to think of it.

When my husband was in college, he lived in a little apartment near the alley of a very popular bar. We were forever looking out the bathroom window and seeing some guy relieving himself on our wall. Ever so often I would chuck a pitcher of ice water out that window to defend the wall's honor. I'm sure some of those guys were so snockered they thought the wall whizzed back at them.

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