Tuesday, 19 September 2006

HYGIENE LOW-DOWN

Home again to an empty diary and an empty bank balance...

By Zeus, but it's terribly tempting to re-pack and fly off back to Emporios!

However, it is perhaps time to count one's blessings: after all, there must be something good about being back in the UK...

And, yes, there is!

Now, it's true to say that there are some people - many people I believe - who, as the end of their holiday draws near, find themselves yearning for the homely comfort of their own bed.

Not me! I'm one of those who's simply longing for a loo

If you'll pardon my frankness, I have to say that the most testing thing about holidaying in Greece is a national plumbing system that dictates that soiled toilet paper cannot be disposed off in the customary fashion, but has to be deposited in a bin designated for that purpose…

In the pre-Andrex days when the Romans built the communal latrines that can still be viewed at the Agora in Athens, they cleansed themselves with a sponge on a stick rinsed in a culvert of constantly flowing water that ran in front of the seats…


But for modern-day Greeks, toilet-tissue is a real issue and leads to some interesting attempts to meet the expectations of visitors from those parts of the world where collecting used loo-paper is not a tradition (especially the cleanliness-conscious Americans and Japanese), while at the same time attempting to avoid major disruption of the national sewage system!

Many taverna loos now sport notices announcing sophisticated disinfecting systems alongside those reminding you where to file your paperwork…



In one of the restrooms in the lounge at Athens airport - stylishly upgraded a few years back to welcome Olympic visitors - there is an amazing, self-cleaning loo-seat (or would be if it were fully functional!) adjacent to which stands a loo-paper-container which has, regrettably, long-since lost its tip-up lid…


Oh, well, as they say: "S*** happens!" The important thing is being able to flush afterwards...

[Images (as if you'd want to nick these ones!): © Brian Sibley & David Weeks]

2 comments:

Cafrine said...

Oh, God. I can't believe I can never now go to Greece. My already delicate bladder could not bear the confusion of this system. Insanity.

Great story - and photos - though.

Scrooge said...

One image this piece is missing is a photograph of your own toilet to compare with the inferior models in Greece. I can't believe you haven't stored one in the archive you carry on the laptop.It would be nice for visitors to your house to reminisce about the happy times they spent there,the books they read etc...