I know this is one of the most common operations for a mom. You are in the car; your children just used the bathroom before leaving the house and while on freeway, you hear that whining voice in the back, “Mom, I have to go.” Let me tell you this: America is the best country in the world for a mommy to hear that, because you take the next exit, park at Starbucks, Dennis or Costco and voila, the thing is done.
But how do you manage using the bathroom abroad?
IF YOU ARE ON A PLANE, you know their lavatories are small. If the room is too small for both your child and yourself, leave the door open. Ask the flight attendant to watch it for you while you help your child. If they say it’s illegal to keep it open, you have no choice but squeeze inside and somehow close the door. Dang!
FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY IN EUROPE, there is a different approach about restrooms. In Germany, for instance, you might not find toilet covers. They provide a disinfectant liquid if you want to use before sitting, but then you have to wipe dry the surface with toilet paper. If your offspring is in too much hurry and you can’t offer a perfectly dry sitting area – “It’s wet. It’s sticky. It’s yucky. It’s slimy.” That’s OK. People in Ephesus used to sit next to each and other under the open sky. Rain or not.
SOME COUNTRIES IN EUROPE don’t believe in providing toilet paper in the restrooms. Your own tissues would be your best friends. Otherwise, I don’t know.
Visiting your ancestries’ village abroad? GREAT GRANDMA’S OUTHOUSE may stink, but your little one has the exquisite chance to practice a Shrek’s’ experience. Local papers and fashion magazines are provided to finish the job. No flushing available.
GOING TO MIDDLE ASIA? Prepare your descendant to crouch over a hole in the cement. Hold him/her to avoid an accidental slide in the hole and be sure your child is a good shooter. The good news is that sometimes those toilets have a flush system. Keep in mind that the hose there is provided for wiping, action that automatically turns into washing if you don’t have enough experience. Ah, and don’t forget to remove all the items from your kids’ pockets before using the down-to-earth toilet. Somebody lost his passport in the hole. For good.
There are areas in Asia that wait for you with the ALL-IN-ONE-NOT-COMPARTMENTED-STALLS over holes in the dirt. Know that other people along with your child might use the restroom in the same time. The scene can be pretty picturesque. Everybody sees everything. For your convenience, the little room may be equipped with a precious jar or a bucket to help flush the thing, (been there, done that.)
If you are in a country WITHOUT PUBLIC RESTROOMS (because they don’t have them) encourage your child to crouch behind a bush. That’s how locals manage going.
ONE LAST SUGGESTION – Load your handbag with hand sanitizers, wet wipes and tissues. While on a trip oversees, one may never have enough of them.
Life is fun. Don’t get stressed out.