Sunday, October 11, 2009

What is up with these TOILETS??

Made it, finally, to the Netherlands.

Whaddaya mean, "finally" AG?

Weeeeell.... they over booked my flight F
riday night by three seats and were NOT going to load the plane until 3 volunteers took the free hotel, free dinner and 300 Euro travel voucher pay off to stay behind. After a slight miscommunication with my husband, I took the hotel/dinner/voucher option.

Saturday morning, at the (butt)crack of dawn, I was back in the airport.

Once again they announced that they'd overbooked and needed two volunteers to take the next flight. WTF?

But the two guys who had also volunteered Friday night went ahead and volunteered AGAIN, meaning that they racked up a cool 600 Euros each in travel vouchers. I, on the other hand, went to the Netherlands post haste, where I slightly mollified husband awaited.

We then went to a camping store. I love camping stores almost as much as I like hardware stores, so there was much climbing into campers, tent trailers and tents and pretending we had gobs of money and vacation time to take our (mythical) Land Rover, (imaginary) children, and (wished for) tent trailer on an off-roads vacation in the African savanna. On the way to the campsite where my husband has been living, we almost stopped for the open house that we saw, because touring homes is FUN, but we were both hungry.

I'd had a terrible terrible sudden drop in sugar levels as I exited the plane resulting in some stressed confusion until I was able to eat a Snickers bar and return from the Land of the Damned and behave like a semi-responsible adult. One who can play pretend in display campers, at any rate.

The camp set up is quite lovely, I'll have to get photos at some point... but every time I need to step outside it begins to rain heavily. Fine, I've got the most kick ass rain jacket EVAH, but camera + rain = lousy images. You'll all just have to wait.

So all is great and wonderful, but eventually I have to go to the restroom. Which brings me face to face with....
The Dutch toilet of DOOM!

Note the position of the "drain" at the front of the toilet. This means that everything you do will end up in the little depression at the back of the toilet for your perusal before you flush. I call it: The Peek a Poo.

I simply had to Google this, I mean, WTF Dutch people!

So I will now cut and paste from an expat website that I found. Expats of the world: you rock!

Stolen without apologies from Dutched Pinay on Expatriotism. :-)

The flachspueler (shelf toilet) otherwise known as the “flatflusher” is, I am guessing hugs more than 50% of the market share of toilets in NL (and perhaps in Germany?).

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the famed Inspection-Shelf Toilet.


(1) When you worship the toilet gods, there won’t be any catch22 of re-tour ‘de splash. Your butt won’t get wet when that slimy sometimes rock-hard substance disengages from god knows where of you. It will land safely and neatly on the porcelain shelf. Unlike the standard toilet, the so-called substance hits straight far down to the water, hence the splatter. Now, I really, really hope you have a good imagination.

(2) You can, with all liberty, inspect the prized matter before flushing it down. This is quite handy when you are sick, you can easily inspect the stool for color and texture. It was said that the pragmatic German inventors used this as a technique to facilitate stool examination. How brilliant these Aryans are!

(3) Uses less water, therefore a perfect conservation method. Got it, this is Europe. Amen.


(1) Since a disengaged part of you is sitting pretty in that shelf, then without any doubt, the blasphemous stink will seep through into every corner of the 1x1 meter box. Well, relax dear.... don’t panic, just sit tight and don’t inhale. Now, reach out slowly to that reserved -Air Freshener- beside or below the toilet bowl. I should be there as its main purpose is to make peace with the dreadful stench.

(2) If you do not flush twice, then for sure you will be leaving some ungodly smears on the white porcelain bowl. In order to disguise the act you just did, you can either wipe the toilet shelf (eww, such thought!) with tissue using your bare hands, or clean it with the toilet brush bristle (hopefully there is one available).

A friend in my Dutch class told me that the best way to thwart this problem is to lay down tissues on the shelf before doing the mighty deed. With that, the excrements will just liberally slide away without leaving any trail when flushed. Now that is real ingenuity!

Credits: Images by David Fontes for

So there you have it. The hardest part about being in the NL so far is not the brand new incomprehensible language or the INSANE lack of road planning (that is a WHOLE OTHER POST OF MADNESS), but the horror of visiting the toilet and being forced to look at your body's refuse.



  1. I would take a yucky squatty potty over a self-inspection potty any day. ANY. DAY.

  2. *makes note not to visit the Netherlands for any longer than a couple of hours*

  3. This made me laugh, because I remember my first impression of the Netherlands when I visited was the toilets! They are weird, and it took me a while to even figure out how to flush them.

  4. My maternal grandparents were German. This post explains SO MUCH. I will spare you the gory details. There are too many...


Keep it clean, don't be mean....