I recently received pictures of a new public toilet abroad, the walls of which are totally transparent from inside (for the user) but which looks as if it has mirror walls from the outside. The thought-provoking question was, “Would you use it?” My American architect friend responded, “I would hate to use it at night when it would have to be lighted up.” This had not occurred to me…but what I noticed in the picture was a drinking fountain set just above the toilet bowl…and that got me thinking about cultural differences. In the East, we always associate toilet with uncleanliness, and we would never dream of drinking out of a water fountain set above a water closet. When our toilets are usually dirty, and indeed, are often open fields, the association with lack of cleanliness and hygiene is too deeply ingrained. Even my own friends, who know rationally that the same water comes out of the taps in their kitchen as well as their bathroom, would hesitate to drink the water in the latter location.
Halloween is approaching in the US….though I think that,mostly, people are the same everywhere, differences in customs do interest me. Here, the dust everywhere ensures that all too often, we have actual “websites” hanging greyly from various corners in our houses, and it is a chore to clean the cobwebs off…and in the US, in banks and offices and I don’t know how many homes, it is such an unknown entity that they actually use artificial webspray to create cobwebs to set the scene for Halloween decorations!
We went to the Wild Animal Park, a relatively new enterprise of the San Diego Zoo. We want to also not miss the world-famous San Diego Zoo, and plan to visit tomorrow.
Far away from home…though the US is a place I am used to, and I feel comfortable with the system here, I still miss being back home on a festival day.