Saturday, April 26, 2014

W – W.C. = Water Closet a.k.a. Toilet, Restrooms

Okay I know! I may not "love" these, but they are necessary! These have a bad rep in France, so, I thought I’d post about how they have “modernized” over the years, and what the French version of modernization is. Public restrooms, or as they are called frequently in France “W.C.” meaning Water Closets (yes, stolen from the British), are not as available in France as they are in the States only because over here we have so many fast food restaurants that let you walk in and use their bathrooms that we don’t need as many “public” restrooms unless in a tourist area. In French restaurants you have to actually be a customer to use theirs. Traveling on the “Auto routes” you will find WCs a bit more “rustic” than ours, by a long shot! Still, progress has been made.
toilets reserved for patrons
Private homes have wonderful bathrooms and “toilets.” Usually what we would call “half-baths” are the norm, a toilet and a sink, that’s all. They’re found in almost every home (depending on the age of the house) that I’ve been in. I think what I like the best about these is the teeny tiny sink that accompanies the toilet. The sink in my mother in law’s house is perhaps a foot wide and perhaps 8 to 10 inches deep, and yes, with hot and cold water. I’ve been told they do this because it’s more sanitary than bathing and voiding in the same area…
Yes you still find the “squatters” but they are usually in areas of infrequent use. Like on auto routes. The craziest WCs I’ve found were in Paris and Bordeaux. Their self-cleaning pods are the closest I’ve seen to what I would term a real water closet. You pay (most of the time), then the door rolls open. You go in, the door closes, you do your business, wash hands, punch the button, and as you leave the jets in the walls and floors let loose and water literally sprays the entire inside of the pod up to about three feet. Yes, fortunately the paper (when they have it!) is kept above those three feet.
Okay, who knew? HERE is a site dedicated to French Toilets!!!! In English!    
Enough said about water closets!
Self evident!

One would wish...

This one was in a parking lot!
Pretty sign!

Roman public toilet
Real hand towels in the Paris airport

Painted on the doors in a ladies room in a rail station in Paris

Never saw one of these but it was too cool not to put it in here! My daughter has used one of these, she just told me!

Prettier than the pod version below

I think I prefer the other one. Glad Doctor Who has a police box for his Tardis instead of one of these!

Some images from:


  1. Hi Lisa .. wonderful selections - we experienced the squat toilettes over at Henry V's battle at Agincourt, when we visited ... not an easy experience ... I think we've got pods rising out of some London pavements - but I've never seen them working ..

    I'll be back for U and V .. experiencing some hassles re the machine here .. cheers Hilary

    1. Sorry about your machine troubles. Always hate that! Yes, my daughter experienced the one that rises out of the ground, but I never have. Closest I got was the literally underground toilets in the Luxembourg Gardens...

  2. So the one just rises up out of the ground? That is really wild.
    My blogger buddy Sean has traveled all over Europe and the Middle East and is quite familiar with squat toilets. He even did a guest post for me about them. (There, now we've both featured toilets on our blogs!)

    1. Yes! Out of the ground! My daughter has experienced this but not me. Maybe next time... Ha ha! Can't believe there are so many sites out there talking about toilets!

  3. I remember usin the pissoir in Paris back in the late 1950s.

  4. That is a crazy one that rises up. Whoa. We don't have too many public restrooms in our area. Along the interstate there are a couple at rest areas but that's about it.

    Can't imagine the Roman public toilet. I would so not have been on board with that. lol

  5. Hi Lisa,

    Bummer! :) Reading the title of your posting got me all flushed with excitement. On a side note, I realised that toilets were higher off the ground in Britain than in North America. I also realised that that North American toilet bowls were wider and made me think I was going in a fish tank. In "loo" of not having much more to say, I still have nightmares about the public toilets I decided to avoid in Carcasonne. Yes, the location of the film, "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves."

    Thanks for this, Lisa. I've run out of turds, sorry, words :)


  6. What a 'crappy' subject...but one that needs discussed, I'm sure :)

    I've been reading where squatting is a great way to "go" as in getting it all they say....

  7. For 5 shekels, you get 2 pieces of toilet paper and a hole to squat over in Ocre, Israel. So gross!

  8. loved your sharing as well your photos .. .thanks for sharing ;)

    Matt Mertz from Shop Toilet

  9. This could be useful for people in outdoor. A good step.


Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I may not always be able to respond to the comments you leave, however, I appreciate you dropping by and will do my best to visit your blog as well, if you have one!