When you travel, you expect to find things that are different from what you’re used to. One of those things is toilets. My husband and I watched tons of documentaries before we went to Europe, and a bunch of them said that in Italy there were some places where a toilet meant squatting over a hole in the ground. Me being the strange person that I am, I was really excited about this. I wanted to pee in the hole. Well, we never found one of those. Everywhere we went had normal toilets.
I did, however, find something to ease my disappointment. When we were going from city to city, we took a lot of trains. We even got to ride in a compartment like in Harry Potter. There was a man with a food trolley and everything. On our first long train ride, I had to go to the bathroom. Everything in the train bathroom seemed normal until you looked down the toilet.
Where you would normally see a u-bend or a little flap like on an airplane, there was just a hole! A gaping hole that led to the tracks. I could see the world speeding under me as I peed. I had a moral debate with myself about what to do with the toilet paper. I was raised not to litter after all. A little graphic, I know, but I was fascinated. I even made my husband go just so he could see how strange and cool this was.
One night, we were taking a really long train ride back from a day trip. I had tried to use the bathroom, but I couldn’t get the door between cars to open. I was stuck with no toilet for three hours! When we finally made it back to the train station, I had to go. There was no waiting until we got back to the hotel, and there was no public bathroom. There was, however, a train next to us that wasn’t due to leave for twenty minutes.
I walked casually toward the waiting train and snuck on. I went into their bathroom and looked down the hole. We were inside and below me were the tracks. But I had no choice. I had to go. As soon as I was done, I snuck back off the train, trying to ignore the puddle of shame on the tracks.