25 March 2006
Waiting at the gate of the airport I was thinking: “Which door do people choose when they have to go to a public toilet?” Do you too make a greased lightning calculation of which of the 2, 3 or 4 available toilets statistically would be the cleanest? Do ‘the Other People’ always take the middle door? Or just the door most near by the entrance door? So, the most near by one would be the dirtiest toilet. Or do all Other People think that way and then all flock to the farthest door, so that all farthest toilets are the most used ones?
The times that I’m not paralyzed by the quick calculation, is when I see a toilet for the disabled. Because I suspect that most people are afraid to use it. Out of courtesy, out of duty or because of their cleaner morals 🙂 Or perhaps because using a toilet for the disabled is stored in the same brain-box as using a parking lot for the disabled. We were brought up that you will be fined if improperly using that parking, so automatically the whole territory of the disabled became trespassing for the undisabled.
Sometimes ‘the big progress’ looks like carried too far to me. At the airport in New Zealand you need to close the toilet door electronically.
There was a queue for the 2 available toilets. The mixed gents and ladies peeked into a dark hallway, where a red and green light completely random went on & off, on the gender-free doors. Every few seconds an electronic voice shouted out the same stinging message: “Through closed uf … kgggg, tsk … Button!”
Once inside the spacious toilet room I stared to the smooth sliding door without the possibility to lock it … Ah, at the doorpost I could press a button. No, two buttons!
Hmmm, first I needed to translate and understand the manual. But in the meantime I pulled down my pants, because with the long queue in mind I wanted to do my business asap. But now I was too far away to press the buttons, so I rely on my wits and quickly pressed the red button. Red hardly could be any different than CLOSED, isn’t it? Red is forbidden access. Red means STOP or danger.
Sitting on the loo, or rather hanging above -because sitting is dirty- I saw a flashing green light above my door. Oh no … so my door is open???
Well, the entire amount of people has seen me entering this door, so I trusted on nobody would going to sit beside me. Apparently I had to turn OFF the green light by pressing the green button …
A wonderful outgrowth of technological advances. What the hell is running in the minds of the creators of this? Was he trying to achieve saving time in such a hectic environment like an airport? For a moment the memory of the old-fashioned slide-lock just makes me melancholic.
At least I stopped trying to understand the instructions yet. That was the best time-saver.