Nieuws - 12 juni 2013

Toilet Fever


Have you ever terribly badly needed to go to the toilet in the middle of your shopping trip or a fun time in a tourist area? I bet you have. Imagine how horrible it is when you cannot find a single toilet around you. I have been to various places in the Netherlands such as city centres, bus and railway stations and tourist areas. After all this time I have realized that you can hardly find a toilet in public places. Even in the Keukenhof I could only find two or three toilets. Hence the long queues of people waiting for their turn to go into.

The problem of course is that you never know when or where you need to go. It can be very uncomfortable and even painful, to withstand this special need. But in the Netherlands you have to plan it. Using a public toilet can cost as much as 25 or even 50 cents. At a small railway station, you will only find a self-operated toilet. Don't expect too much in terms of the hygiene because this kind of toilet is usually dirty. You can only open it by inserting a 50 cent coin. If you don't have one to hand, then you have a problem. There's no attendant and no change machine to get the coin. Once I had to buy something and make sure that I had that 50 cent coin in my change. Then I learned that I should always keep some 50 cent coins in my pocket before going out.
In Indonesia you can find a toilet on every corner at public facilities, and tourist areas in particular.  They cost around 8 or 10 cents.  There will always be a toilet attendant from whom you can get change, so you don't need to worry about small change. Frankly, the toilets are not as clean as those in the Netherlands, but at least you can easily relieve your need there, so you don't get toilet fever. 
Asep Bayu Ekawijaya, from Indonesia, spouse of a PhD student at Wageningen UR
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