Haiku reviews of public bathrooms: Paris McDonalds

Welcome to series in which I review public bathrooms in haiku form. In this entry I visit a McDonalds in Paris. It should probably come with some sort of reader discretionary warning. Or, if you’d prefer to use more modern vernacular, “tmi, girlfriend”.

Despite where my review ends up, I would definitely return. Beer costs the same as coke!

Despite where my review ends up, I would definitely return. Beer costs the same as coke!

Paris train station:
If you want friendly faces
Not the place to go.

At the Info Desk
“English? I speak a leetle”
Ending with a sigh.

Half an hour passed
Of queuing then gesturing
With garbled requests.

Our tickets to Bruges
Selected, booked and paid for
Safe in my pocket.

But to get them cheap
Our journey was fragmented
Not starting ‘til two.

It was eleven
And with three hours to kill
We went to Maccas.

(Yes, “eat local food”
But after a week in France
I had had enough.)

We sat in a booth
Nursing coffees for hours
Leeching free wifi.

Mid Facebook browsing
Nature called, as nature does
I made haste downstairs.

In the summer heat …
… with a fifteen kg pack …
… with recent weight gain …

… with too tight jeans on …
… after eating McDonalds …
… I did not feel good.

This bathroom helped none:
Paper towels littered the floor
Inhuman odours.

A stall’s door ajar
Indicating vacancy
Beckoned towards me.

I grimly sat down
Trying to avoid thinking
Of words such as “stain”…

… or “smear” or “puddle”…
… “communicable disease”…
… “sick” and “infection”.

Eager to escape
I reached for the toilet roll
To end this visit.

Too late I realised
I’d forgotten the first rule
Of public bathrooms.

Before you sit down
Nay – before you unbuckle
Check paper is there.

‘Twas six long hours
‘Til our hostel check-in time
‘Til I could shower.

Employing girl tricks
I called meekly to neighbours
But no reply came.

I checked my pockets
Hoping for a backup plan
A napkin, perhaps?

But I was thwarted
By my own efficiency
All pockets were bare.

My options all out
I resorted to cardboard
The paper’s friend – tube.

Not a sensation
I would enjoy repeating
(Unyielding and tough.)

Call me uncultured
But I feel like this bathroom
Summed up “Paris, France”.

Haiku reviews of public bathrooms: Great India

Welcome to a series in which I review public bathrooms in haiku form.

Previous editions: Fork & BrewerCourtenay Place public toilets | Fringe Bar

A critic on the can.

A critic on the can.

The service here’s great
With waiters in crisp white shirts
All “yes ma’am”, “no sir”.

Taking our orders
Our waiter murmurs questions
Voice low and soothing.

His words float gently
It’s the speech equivalent
Of a warm cuddle.

Rising from my seat
I saw the theme continued
When looking for loos.

I’ve barely stood up
When there’s a man by my side
Ready to assist.

He whispers softly
Discreet toilet directions
“Second on the left”.

The bathroom is small
There’s no room to swing a cat
(If you’re into that.)

No lock on the door
Forget my Nana’s advice
Of “always knock first”.

I fling it open
Making instant eye contact
With the occupant.

“Oops-I’m-so-sorry”
In a flustered garbled speech
While retreating out.

Now I am squeezed in
Waiting to apologise
(Once is not enough).

It’s defo awkward
Squeezing past a strange woman
I just saw peeing.

Later in the night
I overhear her talking
—she’s seeing a play.

It makes me feel weird
I remain a mystery
Yet I know her well.

Briefly consider
Just offering her secrets
To correct balance.

“Hello strange woman,
I wet my pants on school camp
I was nine years old.”

Decide against it
It is probably much worse
Than just shutting up.

Haiku reviews of public bathrooms: Fringe Bar

Welcome to a series in which I review public bathrooms in haiku form.

Previous editions: Fork & BrewerCourtenay Place public toilets

A bard having a blast in the bathroom.

A bard having a blast in the bathroom.

Fringe Bar, Wellington

Door signs in Māori
It’s a nice cultural touch
In a Kiwi bar.

When you get inside
The wall of chlorine hits you
Like a public pool.

Space is limited
Be prepared to get cosy
With fellow queue-ers.

Stand awkwardly close
In front of a huge mirror
There’s nowhere to look.

To make it less weird
Stare straight ahead at yourself
Keep eye contact locked.

You notice new things
(Nostrils asymmetrical)
(Knees like my grandma.)

This newfound knowledge
Is not welcome or wanted
You avert your eyes.

Then they come to rest
On the item located
Upon the sink top.

Bowl of free condoms?
Take back all that I have said
Best bathrooms ever.

Haiku reviews of public bathrooms: Courtenay Place RoboToilets

Welcome to a series in which I review public bathrooms in haiku form. Read the first entry here, where I visited the Fork & Brewer. In this entry I brave the Courtenay Place public toilets, a block of loos that have embraced technology with enthusiasm.

Courtenay Place robotoilets... they look so innocent from the outside.

Courtenay Place robotoilets… they look so innocent from the outside.

Courtenay Place RoboToilets

I’m sure we all know
You have no other options
Which is why you’re here.

To open the door
You need to press a button
(It’s a common theme).

Best to brace yourself
For what you will find inside
It’s luck of the draw…

Maybe it’s tidy?
Or maybe there’s a fresh turd
Perched upon the seat.

When you get inside
Burt Bacharach starts playing
And a countdown starts.

Seems like mixed signals
“Relax and enjoy these tunes”
“BUT WE’RE TIMING YOU”.

To get loo paper
You press a button and wait
Wait and wait and wait.

While you wait and wait
You see a bin for needles
Now fear germs AND aids.

You try to get soap
The sink makes a barking sound
Jizzes on your wrist.

Hand dryer is worse
One loud honk and a short blast
Is all it gives you.

The loo’s only “pro”
Is that it reminds us all
Robots aren’t perfect.

Don’t think we’re ready
For this much automation
Bacharach or no.

Haiku reviews of public bathrooms: Fork & Brewer

A poet perches on porcelain.

A poet perches on porcelain.

THE FORK AND BREWER
Wellington, New Zealand

The Fork and Brewer
Men with suits and fancy beers
Find it on Bond Street.

My dinner was good
But we’re not here to talk food
Nor décor nor staff.

We’re here to review
Using the form of haiku
How good were the loos?

(Don’t get your hopes up
That last haiku was a fluke
Rhyme accidental).

I think you’ll agree
That’s enough introduction
So let’s get to it.

Along the side walls
(Upcoming pun intended)
The loos are kept flush.

It felt kind of strange
To be facing the wrong way
Shrug… maybe it’s art?

They score points for ‘weird’
With their haphazard barrels
Housing the basins.

But then they lose some—
Only one soap dispenser
And not where you’d think.

The lighting was low
In a good way, flattering
You need that in bars.

They had paper towels
Air dryer option as well
A lady likes choice.

Conclusion: kooky
I recommend you try it
I’ll go there again.