Thursday, 22 May 2014

Hubble, bubble, toilet trouble

I was told by a French client at the gîte, that the following joke is told by francophone Belgians against the French:

Why is it that when the Belgians answer a call of nature they go to "la toilette" (the toilet, singular) but when the French do, they go to "les toilettes" (the toilets, plural)?   It's because in France you have to check out several before you find a clean one.

I suspect that this is an old joke, and perhaps it was more true in the past than now.  But yes, I do sometimes find French toilets in a bad state, and the dreaded squat bog still lurks in some surprising places.  (Have you ever seen a clean one that wasn't new?)

There are 11 toilets in the gîte and I make sure that they're all clean after each group of clients has left.  We're on a septic tank here, though, and despite notices to this effect, people still flush non-biological things down the loo.  These sometimes get stuck, like happened the other day, and when the guests had departed the routine cleaning revealed an incipient problem.  It was easy enough to sort out, it and happened to coincide with the need to empty the septic tank anyway, so we killed two birds with the one stone.

But it's still noteable that quite a lot of our clients comment that the place is clean; and when they do, they usually refer specifically to the toilets.   It always puzzles me: what do they expect?  Perhaps the joke gives a clue.


CherryPie said...

Your clients seem to be experiencing the same toilet cleanliness problems as I do at work.

The toilets are cleaned every day by the cleaners.

During the day some dirty individuals leave the 'toilet' in an unacceptable condition. There is a loo brush by the side to tidy up. But some folks do not care about such things. It leaves the vast majority (of us ladies) wondering which of our (women) colleagues are so disgusting (or to lazy to clean up after themselves)...

Helen Devries said...

The loos here in Costa Rica are always it good practice on the part of the clients or constant attention by the staff?

The loos in France were generally a disgrace - particularly in the hospital attended by my husband - and that included the staff loos which I tried out thinking that they would be better than the public they were not.

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