Sunday, March 04, 2007

Toilets in London

This reminds me of this hilarious night in 2004 when Rachel and Laurel and I went to see Josh Ritter play in London. Afterwards we went to this bar that was open forever and ever and where we were plied with drinks by random people from up north England and where we demanded to know who "The real Kathleen" was from Josh. (He said she wasn't real. And he smiled knowingly. Damn you singer songwriters.) We were there late. And then we had to walk from there (somewhere vaguely near the intersection of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road) all the way down Oxford street in the dead of night at 3am. Naturally in our drunken state it was a long and arduous journey, especially as midway through we found the need for a restroom somewhat urgent. Luckily we found one - apparently the rare public restroom on Oxford Street, which cost a fortune, and so we decided in our infinite wisdom to share the cost of using the loo. We put in our 2 pounds or however much and proceeded to take turns. But somehow by the third person, the damn door wouldn't cooperate and kept opening on the poor person trapped inside (I shall not name names), while the other two giggled uncontrollably and nervously checked their watches to see if they were missing their once-an-hour bus back to Oxford. (We made it, in case you were wondering.)

All this just goes to show that public restrooms are rather useful and necessary in London town, but would be more helpful if they had reasonable prices and doors that shut.

(via BoingBoign)
clipped from

In Beijing, where the average salary is a 10th of London's,
there are 7,700 toilets, or one for every 1,948 people. China's
capital plans to renovate 3,700 in time for the 2008 Olympics.
London, which will host the 2012 games and has one toilet per
18,000 residents, has no such plans.

Research by ENCAMS, an
environmental charity, showed 95 percent of Britons had urinated,
vomited or defecated in public because no toilet was available.
The number of toilets
dropped 40 percent from 2000 to 2005, leaving 415 to serve a
population of 7.5 million, government figures show. That's not
including the 28 million people who visit the U.K. capital each
Elaine Gennard-Levy spent 20 minutes
searching for a bathroom while shopping on London's Oxford
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like loo-to-student ratios in a certain middle school I know. No plans for improvement for upcoming Olympics.