It’s all fine and dandy once you know how to use something. It’s that time before the knowing that makes some of us cringe. Of all the modern marvels one of the things I wish would stop getting too futuristic are toilets and washbasins. I happen to be one of those people you walk in on and catch doing an awkward jig in front of the bathroom mirror in a public toilet because I couldn’t quite figure out what makes the damn thing tick.
It happened once in Rome, Italy. I think I spent a good 15 minutes and refused to give up. It’s a marvel no one walked in to use the bathroom in all that time. Finally, someone did. I pretended to intently contemplate the meaning of the simplistic painting of a framed flower on the wall. It was a simple pizzeria. Not simple enough for a simpleton like me I suppose. The lady came out and gave me a curious glance, managed a weak smile attempting to mask the ‘weirdo’ eyeball roll reflected in her eyes. She casually swiped her hand across the top of the faucet. She made it look so ‘Elementary dear Watson’. I was amazed and thankful the flush was automatic. I didn’t want to think what would happen if the toilet was complicated.
I have heard about singing toilets and the like. I understand the whole hygiene aspect and appreciate the fact that you don’t have to touch anything anymore. I cannot wait for the day we can do our deed floating an inch above the toilet bowl. But, for Pete’s and for that matter, my sake, do they really have to complicate it this much?
Take for instance the other day when I was in a restroom in LAX. The soap dispenser wasn’t dispensing soap. I circled my hand around it, snapped my fingers and hit it a few times. I went to the next one and tried the same and a few other things for good measure but to no avail. Am I supposed to whistle now? Another one, I thought in despair. A lady walked in and pointed to the very last basin and said it was the only one working. Of course! I smiled embarrassed, why didn’t I think of that! My travel adventures have left me a little scarred. You will understand now when I say I prefer busy toilets.
What modern marvels leave you feeling like a bumbling blushing imbecile? Or something close? Do share. I beg of you, don’t let me be the only one here!
By Archana, previously published at www.southasianaustinmoms.com