There have been times in most people’s lives when they felt the uncontrollable urge of using the bathroom. Unfortunately (or, fortunately), for most of us, the only option available at the time was a public toilet. In such a situation, one of two things may happen. You can either decide to hold your breath and take the plunge ( literally) or clench your teeth and tighten your pelvic muscles until you come across some other sanitary washroom. Neither of the two is anywhere near being pleasant.
My not-so-pleasant experience with public restrooms
Although I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, I’ve had the rare opportunity of touring a couple of other cities in the US and abroad as well. And as you may already know, it’s hard to come across two or more towns that are exactly the same. Nonetheless, a common unifying factor that ties together most of these cities, (despite been separated by oceans), is the dismal state or lack of public toilets.
I remember there was a time I spent over 45 minutes scouring for a decent (or at least hygienic) public loo in downtown Nairobi, Kenya when I was in the country for a Safari. Barely a month before that incident, I was equally stranded in Beijing, China after my tour guide forgot to bring me up to speed with the polite way of asking for directions to a public restroom in standard Mandarin. Apparently, the dialect I ended up using sounded like I was asking for directions to a cheap place where I could quench my sexual desires! So much for being a woman in your mid-twenties in a foreign city.
Now stories aside. After a while, it struck me that I wasn’t the only one who was always facing this predicament. So I decided to start a blog about public toilets where we could raise awareness about this issue that few find comfortable discussing. Because sadly, whether we would want to admit it or not, the problem of lack of sound public restrooms is not likely to go away anytime soon. That is unless we do something about it.
Through this blog, which I called “Safe2Pee“, I am hoping to showcase to the world the importance and urgency of building and renovating public toilets in our cities and neighborhoods. And to all my fellow globetrotters, I urge you to join hands with me in developing an app or an online directory that will make it easier to find a public washroom, the next time you’re away from home.