Warning "sidewalk toilettes" without paying
Thanks to: http://www.travellady.com/Issues/June05/1520atoilettimidtourists.htm for the following paragraph:
The coin operated automatic street toilets are tremendous. My first experience with such a high-tech self cleaning toilet (complete with rocking toilet seats and music) was in Paris.
At this juncture I feel compelled to issue a couple of warning.
After you’ve fed it the required coinage, the door opens automatically and you walk into a newly disinfected wet floored toilet. Actually, the whole toilet is decontaminated and dosed with disinfectant following each use, leaving a wet seat. You have fifteen minutes to go, so there can be no hanging about as the door automatically open, exposing you to the world.
My teenage son thought he could save a few coins by ducking in whilst someone was exiting. No doubt he had forgotten my warnings of earlier and was promptly sanitised -- the toilet received no payment so thought it was empty and retracted the toilet bowl into the wall (with him still on it), then sprayed him with sterilizer.
This person's teenage son had the same "experience" as I did. Last year, my friend Robbie and I were on a school trip to Paris (we're both Americans born in 1992; last year was 2007).
We were walking together when nature called. Robbie had to urinate while I had to do "both." (We described our actions more "vulgarly," but I'll keep it clean for this forum).
Robbie went in first to urinate. He came out and held the door open for me. I went in and, within no more than 20 seconds after I pulled down my pants and sat on the toilet, I felt the toilet pull back from my bare butt. I didn't know what the heck was going on! The bathroom then began to "self-sanitize." I got a little wet, but I was more shocked than anything. Robbie heard the unusual noise and was banging on the door to see if I was all right. I tried to open the door but it wouldn't open until the sanitizing was finished.
After that, I opened the door (my pants were pulled up, but I was at that point about to mess myself) and fumbled for change. Luckily, Robbie had the correct change. He put the change in the slot. After I shut the door, the toilet then folded out like a sofa couch. I was then able to pull down my pants and sit on the toilet. The room actually smelled pretty nice after the sanitation, but any pleasant smell was soon overcome by my "duty." I had to go a lot and I was in there for nearly 15 minutes. There was just enough time for me to wipe (yes, there was toilet paper in there) and wash my hands. Just as I finished, the door automatically opened.
I later found out that these toilets are on a 15 minute timer. The bathroom sinks weren't that thorough, so luckily I had some Purell (an alcohol hand cleaning gel) which I rubbed on my hand and between my fingers.
Nick and I had a good laugh about this afterwards. We warned other classmates (especially the girls, since they have to sit regardless) not to sneak in for free after somebody else has used one of those sidewalk toilettes.
The French are very proud of...
The French are very proud of their language. Even though you don't know French, try. If not more, then just few words.
And always smile!
Good tips for your pocket!
If you are thinking to visit the Louvre museum, please bear in mind that the first sunday of the month the entrance is free!!!
You'll have a lot of people queuing (but was preatty fast for us!!) and the same people with you inside the museum!!
It's a very interesting museum to visit and takes about a day or more than half day do see it all!
Si estás pensando en visitar el museo de Louvre, por favor tené en cuenta que el primer domingo del mes la entrada es libre!!!
Vas a tener mucha gente haciendo cola (que para nosotros fue bastante rápida!!) y la misma gente con vos recorriendo el museo!!
Es un museo muy interesante para visitar y te lleva como un día o más de medio día para verlo todo!