Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Flooding the toilet and germ obsession in Taiwan

In was in a Starbucks in Taipei. I waited for the door of the bathroom. I had heard the guy splashing and sloshing around from the other side of the door, now my fears were realized as i spotted the wet floor, walls and water dripping from the mirror over the bathroom.
Jesus, can’t i even come to Starbucks and not need my wellies, i thought. It is well decorated. The assistants keep it clean. You are not at home.
The obsession with germs and cooling oneself down meant almost every bathroom you went to in Taipei, Taiwan was soaking wet. You kind of expected it and were not bothered at some tourist attraction where the toilets were pretty basic, but not in this spanking new clean bathroom. Obviously, the guy has done what he always did. Pulled out a 100 tissues or so to place on the toilet seat, so many that it must have felt like a sofa. Then he had opened the tap with his fingernails and, once his hands were washed spent 10 minutes throwing water over the tap to make sure when he turned it off he wouldn’t pick up any germs. But he hadn’t finished yet. It was summer so he had to throw water on his face for another 10 minutes, and, as Taiwanese never have carpet on their floors in the bathroom, he threw enough water to thin out the paint on the back wall. 
Oh well, nothing to do. I had to turn up my jeans and wade in.

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