Potty training….

Dual flush mechanism 

My local potty training started almost immediately upon arrival.  I’ve noticed a few things here that are VERY different than back home and wanted to share them.  Let’s start with toilets themselves.  First they swirl in the opposite direction, but otherwise are pretty much the same as those I’m used to. There is one very important (and environmentally responsible) difference though.  The flush mechanism that is placed at the top of the tank gives you a choice of a demi-(using 0.8 gallons) or a full flush (using 1.6 gallons), thereby conserving water usage — in essence you have the choice of #1 or #2… brilliant.  I wonder how much water this saves a household in a year.

If you find yourself really curious, click here for some astounding facts:

http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/industry/corporate/eecp/case-studies/caroma-dfe.html

Observation #2 is rather ironic given the sophistication of the actual toilet itself, because the toilet facilities for many restaurants are horrible and dingy and would never pass an Ontario health regulation. In this one Lebanese restaurant, I literally had to walk back through the kitchen, down a long dirty hallway where the floor was soaking wet, out the back door, across an outdoor storage area and into a little one room 3’x4′ shack that backed on the laneway that had a lone light bulb hanging from the middle of the ceiling. And then there are some places – Gloria Jean’s Coffee house – a 30+ seater upscale coffee house didn’t even have one toilet.  I won’t be returning there.

Now for the flip side, we recently attended the end of the year function for Chris’ old school at a bar in downtown Sydney called the Argyle.  When it was time to visit the potty I was astounded.  There was an entire 15 ft wide hallway with mirrored walls and elegant sinks. It was dotted with individual stalls and the hallway itself was completely openly accessible from the main bar.  There must have been 20 stalls that were clean, roomy and well appointed with dark wood and stainless steel accents. Each door was a thick slab of frosted glass.  But the most unique thing of all, was that upon entering this plethora of potties, you had the choice of door #1, #2 or #3.  There were stalls for men, for ladies, and stalls for couples.  Something tells me that by the end of the night, the line up for the third option might be the longest of them all.

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