King Richard III though he has turned up in a car park in Leicester didn’t say that but an English girl in Milan did when asked what she missed about England and hadn’t found here in Italy. Well not the Kingdom bit but she was bemoaning the fact that most Italian restaurants and bars seemed to remove this important part of a toilet ( restroom) or loo as we Brits say.
I am amazed that it is the same up in the north as it is down here and whilst for obvious reasons it is far worse that the Ladies loos should be without them let me just add that the gents are equally as lacking. She goes on to say she has been to Italian houses which are also missing the required article but I have never seen that. What is more amazing is that she says she doesn’t want to talk about the number of ” Turkish Bathrooms” that she meets on opening the door of the loo in many places up north ( click on it to see one).
I’m not sure why they take this away or whether they buy them for restaurants etc without them. Down here one suspects there is a black market for them and ships are leaving Brindisi nightly loaded with toilet seats for some far off dictatorship. But surely not up in posh Milan.
I know childish but I couldn’t resist it !
We probably don’t want to belabour this topic but let me just add that Italian men don’t seem to lift seats if there are seats attached. Maybe it is something Mamma did for them or if there are no plastic gloves in the loo like they have in Petrol Stations for the guys to keep the smell of petrol off their hands then they won’t lift but it is grim believe me. There is no Italian word for toilet seat so maybe that’s a clue and there is no seat on a bidet so that’s another. I asked Geraldine about missing seats and she said years of me taking her to the cheapest bars around the world had taught her to be grateful just for a door let alone a lock but did then add the missing seat was far better then the normally missing loo paper in most Puglian loos.
A place I was amazed to find lacked them was restaurants and loos in the USA . My first visit there was when working for P&O Orient Lines on the old Orcades
We sailed into San Francisco and hit the first nice bar on Market Street went to the loo and found no seats and doors that seem to have been cut in half. It was a big surprise.
I see this morning that a group of businessmen are to start a regular passenger service between Southampton and Sydney. They are building two ships of 70,000 tons ( poor Orcades was just 19,000 tons) and the trip will take 25 days via Suez, Dubai, Bombay, Singapore and then Fremantle the port for Perth. All outside cabins and prices starting at £2,995 one way. The ships say the blurb will recreate the style of the old passenger ships on the route. Not sure many of our passengers on F Deck in 6 berth inside cabins would quite describe it like that. The Burma road F deck was known as, because the heat from the engine room made the bulkheads ( walls) too hot to touch. Mind you one lovely old lady from F deck told me at dinner one evening that her daughter had told her P&O would look after everything and she confided they have. ” I have to shake my medicine when I am at home but on this ship I just put it on my bedside table for a minute and it shakes itself ” !
I wonder if the new ships will have the same send off from Australia that we had every voyage. This was Orcades leaving Fremantle for Durban in 1968
They took sailings seriously in those days. Sydney used to have bands playing and thousands of streamers linking the ship to the shore which slowly parted as the ship moved away from the quay as did Fremantle on a much smaller scale.