Digital Lala

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Travel Tales

Baños (Bathrooms)


OK- yes. We are going to talk about bathrooms now. Why? Because there are things about bathrooms and traveling- I wish I had known before I started and also, some of these things are just plain interesting. 🙂

  1. In Colombia, very few public ladies rooms actually have toilet seats.
  2. In many countries- including Costa Rica- it is customary to throw the toilet paper in the garbage can next to the toilet, instead of in the bowl. Many septic systems just cannot handle the paper.
  3. In Colombia, I paid 500 pesos for toilet paper to the attendant outside the bathroom. She gave me said paper and I went in. 🙂
  4. Once, also in Colombia (can you see a theme here?) on the way into either the ladies or the mens – where it converges- you pull the paper you think you will need from the public roll against the wall there.
  5. Don’t be surprised if a man is in the ladies room. (Hear that USA?) If the cleaning person on duty is a man, he just comes in and fills up paper, sweeps the floor, etc. He doesn’t call in first and ask if it’s ok. (Today, in Panama, there was a man fixing an overflowing toilet- the attendant told me, you can come in if you don’t mind that he is fixing- and in I went. I have peed too many times now with random men in the vicinity to be all modest now.. and after 3 glasses of champagne, I had to go! LOL)

The bathroom in question…

So… See the photo there? Ok.. so it clearly notes the man side and the woman side. BUT once you actually go into that little hallway- you realize that those little signs in front are  the ONLY notification you have on which side is which. So I headed down that little corridor and well see- I had to make a choice.  In my defense the actual doors are not marked. So- being 6am in the morning… (I woke up at like 3:40 am!!) and really having to go… (Coffee was finally kicking in if you know what I mean…) I zigged right when I should have zigged left! I was kind of surprised at the amount of “open space” but saw one stall door inside and jumped for it. And here I am, sitting there, and all of a sudden I hear a man’s voice ask the attendant “Aqui? (Here?)” and then FOOTSTEPS!! SHIT!

So much for a peaceful poop! As soon as that guy left, I zipped out of there, but AGH! As I started to dart across the hall (past the attendant brushing his teeth and causing quite the shocked look on his face!) to the women’s side, a man turned into the door! BANG! Oops! Disculpe! (Excuse me!) I made it safely to the other side, red faced and breathing a little hard. <sigh>  Now though, all hope was lost, no potty for me! I washed my hands and my face and then went back to the gate. (Even on our way home, I just could not go to the bathroom in the Barranquilla airport! I think I am scarred for life!)


What kind of things have you noticed about bathrooms when you have been traveling in foreign countries?


  1. My coworker has to travel for curling, and she’s posted pics from a bathroom in China where it’s like a toilet bowl that’s into the ground that you squat over. I find it soo weird…. o.O

    • La La-

      Yeah- I think that would be WAY outside of my comfort zone! Morocco has been a very normal bathroom experience country thankfully. (I have also kind of tried to avoid too many public bathrooms so that could factor in… LOL)

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