Friday, 13 January 2012
To Pee Or Not To Pee - That Is The Question
Strange how language twists and turns through history.
Everywhere you go on the continent seems to be a blast from the past when seeking out a lavatory. WC seems to be the standard description. I bet most Europeans don't realise that W.C. stands for Water Closet.
We on the other hand have rejected WC and turned to the word Toilet, related to the French word 'toilette', maybe, but who cares?
When you are in a hurry, verging on desperation, it doesn't matter what the hell the thing is called, so long as it is open for business - Latrine, khasi, dunny, thunder box, shitter, netty, washroom, john, public convenience, loo, lavatory, office, foreign office, throne room, crapper, outhouse, can, dookie, men's room, boys' room, ladies, gents, rest room - rr, comfort room - cr, commode, potty, biffy, privy, midden, cess pit, donicky or even riding a porcelain bus.
The Czech loo was closed. There was a very detailed notice about the Christmas opening hours and how much you had to pay the attendant in the kiosk.
This was the second time in a week that I had been taken short. Both were at railway stations. In the UK, luckily it was quiet and there was a hawthorn bush close to the railway sidings. No doubt I will be on CCTV, but I pulled my cap as far as I could over my eyes, in the unlikely event that the cameras had iris recognition technology.
The Ladies were open, however, in the Czech railway station. My daughters came rushing out with hoots of laughter as they grabbed my camera and hastily went back in, saying:
'You won't believe this, dad. It's this sign you see.... it's odd that it is above the wash basins in the ladies....
Something has been lost in translation, perhaps.