Who Knew There Was So Much Trivia About French Bathrooms?
Real French Fact #6: No, your French hotel room is not weird or broken. It's common practice in France for the restroom to be divided up into two parts. One is the toilette or WC (water closet), which has only the toilet. Boyfriend likes to call this room The Toilet of Shame, because it's annexed off from the rest of the bathroom, which probably gives it poor self esteem. The other part of the bathroom, the salle de bains, has the sink, the shower, and the bath. Only the most Americanized of hotels will forgo this general rule.
Real French Fact #7: There are no toilet seats in French public schools. I have no idea why.
Between the collège (middle school), and the lycèe (high school) that I work at, and the other schools I’ve visited for various meetings for my program, I’ve seen a grand total of zero toilet seats. Pourquoi? Are they too expensive? Considered unnecessary luxuries? Maybe I’m spoiled from the US, but I consider the toilet seat necessary. I’ve heard apartments don’t always come equipped with them either, and that its common practice to buy your own. Come on, France! Don’t force women to hover awkwardly over toilets. It’s not nice. You are better than that. Don’t tell me a country which can produce croissants of your caliber cannot equip homes and public buildings with plastic seats.
Sometimes, French bathrooms also like to hide the flushing button. This is especially prevalent in airport restrooms, probably to confuse and intimidate the fresh tourists. I’m sure the French find this amusing. (“Think you can come visit this country whenever you want? WELL, TRY TO PEE! Bwhahaha!”) One time the flush button was in the upper right corner of the wall for no discernable reason. A short person or a midget might have been in some real trouble. I imagine its bad enough being a midget without having to frantically jump up and down in an attempt to reach a toilet flusher. That is a lot like kicking someone when they’re already (heh) down. I know... that one was... below me! HAH.