Just when you think you've finally found the toilets, there's only a black hole in the white floor. Welcome to French toilets (or Turkish toilets, as the French call them), probably the most reviled piece of French furniture. Men can use the hole as an urinal, but for the rest it remains a problem.|
How to use French toilets
1. Close the door and look for a dry place to put your toilet paper.
2. Drop your pants just far enough, keep them up as high as possible. The floor is mostly filthy and wet.
3. Take a seat with your face towards the door. In the floor you'll find two steps to put your feets on.
4. Squat! That means: knees and upper body to the front, and put your bottom backwards. Sometimes there are 'stirrups' to grab with your hands, to help keep your balance.
5. just for the gentlemen: use a hand to point Percy at the porcelain. Let's not be too shy to talk about this - you don't want to wet your trousers and shoes.
6. Do what you have to do and clean your bottom.
7. Put on your clothes again and take your time to let that fade grimace from your face.
8. Don't flush just yet. These toilets have the habit of spraying lots of water over a much larger area than just the toilet to make it clean (mm, clean, anyway, the floor is getting wet). You risk wet feet. So, open the door and flush while you step out.
It has to be acknowledged, you lack any kind of comfort in these toilets. However, I suppose this is how nature meant it to be. It's much more hygienic than normal toilets where everyone has peed all round it. Another advantage: you'll spend less time here than you do in the toilets at home. You can use this time very well, for instance to recover from the hard work you've just done.
By the way, these toilets aren't the only kind of toilets in France. You will find these toilets mostly as public toilets and on camp-sites, even the more luxury camp-sites. On these luxury camp-sites you most likely find both French and normal toilets. Be there early, you might have to wait for the normal toilets.
On the other hand, some larger cities provide really luxury public toilets. They have automatic cleaning. Just put in a coin and you've got 10 to 15 minutes to do your businnes. You could almost go there for the fun of it....
I translated this and a few more page on special request. If the links above are in Engish, the resulting pages are too. I want to thank Patrick Wallace for being so kind to suggest some corrections. Rest of this site is in Dutch only, I'm sorry. I made this site as a virtual guide to France for those Dutch who use to complain about everything in France (there are lots of them every summer).