Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Lavatorial humour

Sorry to be indelicate but imagine we are in the toilet. No, not we, you or I, separately, apart,  in different but similar toilets. The sit down toilet, not the stand up one.

This toilet is in Spain and on the wall there is a notice which says "Do not throw the paper in the toilet" - well it says it in Spanish but the translation is good. Now paper, papel, is a bit of a multi purpose word. For instance the car parking tickets are often papeles and you can use it for receipts and other things made from paper. The very first time I saw it I thought ah, they mean paper towels and the like but no, alongside the stool was a wastebasket full of soiled toilet paper.

Now Spain is a country blessed with an interminable supply of flies. Unsurprisingly they are attracted by this copious quantity of food. The original concept of  the waste basket isn't particularly pleasant but add in a cloud of flies and it becomes decidedly nasty.

For years I presumed that this was because of dodgy plumbing especially as there are fewer and fewer of the notices nowadays. A few sheets in the pan and the resulting flood could be even more disgusting  than the piles of soiled paper. However, the other day, I was in a high tech building, the sort where the lights are controlled by motion sensors as you walk past yet there was the notice. Surely modern Spanish plumbing can deal with modern toilet paper designed to more or less dissolve in water?

All I can think is that the notice was there because that's how we do it. Not me I hasten to add. 

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