desi

Roads to restrooms – it happens only in Amreeka!


Warning: Second part is relevant for males and the content is not meant to be offensive. Reader discretion is advised
I am bad at diagrams and do not carry a camera phone either. Hence this post will be affected by my limitations to visually depict – however, I shall try to put my point across using MS Word. Pictures would have ideally shown the facts, but I am so lazy to click and upload that I decided to give up. Also, didn’t want to go trigger happy and click photographs in a restroom and risk the possibility of a gay man getting wrong ideas and chasing me. Ok, there are 2 things that I want to talk about, one to dispel notions that many of my friends and relatives harbor about the perfect state of the United States infrastructure and the other to share my shock and inability to comprehend the intentions behind the design / architecture of American restrooms!

American roads:
It would be stupid if I said that US roads are not great. The structure, design and most importantly, the reactive and pro-active maintenance of highways across the country is absolutely fantastic. Wonder how many million barrels of white and yellow paint gets used on roads through the country. But I would like to point out the fact that apart from highways, the smaller interior roads at least in Charlotte and Pittsburgh (main cities where I have driven inside the cities) are not free from potholes. Laloo Yadav had made a comment about how he would build smooth roads in Bihar, roads so smooth that the smoothness could be compared to Hema Malini’s cheeks! That would happen someday but not in the near future, for sure. In the US, the traffic system is strictly enforced and apart from a few aggressive drivers who would change lanes without turning on indicators, or speeding, most people do follow traffic rules quite well. Driving is so quiet and boring that I miss the honking in India (my sister in law would not agree with me on this)! The nature of punishments, including fines for DUI, speeding etc also act as deterrents and fewer cases of ‘against the law’ activities take place. I remember driving without a 2 wheeler license during my poor entrepreneurial days with 15 rupees in pocket around 11 pm from Malleshwaram to JP Nagar, when I got caught by a cop. Several rounds of negotiations followed and he finally let me go after accepting 5 rupees. One way of looking at it is ‘Paanch rupya ko bhi nahi choda’ while another way of looking at is the ‘it’s absolutely ok to drive / ride without a license’ attitude. It is a chicken and egg problem and we could go on and on, so I stop that thought trail right here, right now.
I was going with my family to Century III Mall from Greentree in Pittsburgh and my wife and I were completely excited. There were so many potholes on the road that my car would have got confused about its geographical coordinates had it ever been outside this country. I was surprised at my completely different reaction to a pothole, yeah a bloody pothole! I think I need to either implement the India scents idea or make a trip to India soon and kiss ‘mere desh ki potholed dharthi’ many times! Each time, my car tire would hit a pothole (and that appeared to follow a random distribution on the road), I began to mentally compare it with what we used to encounter in Bangalore or Chennai. That was like the Malleshwaram one near Sankey Tank, this is like OMR near Navalur, this is the Nanganallur one, ooh, this was close to the Lucknow pothole where Sunil and I fell at 4 am on our way to Fauji da dhaba where poor Sunil was left without a 3 inch diameter sized sphere removed from near the joint on his leg (different story, that!). So, my dear friends, nothing is perfect. It is only on a relative grading that American roads fare far better than Indian roads. Today’s newspaper also talks about another multi billion dollar stimulus package which will be used to repair roads in Pennsylvania! Of course, we believe that multi billion dollars are spent in India but used for different purposes like bribing official X, then Y, then Z and so on and so forth, so that at the end, one drizzle and roads are back to waiting for election time. In India, roads always get newly laid whenever elections are near, right.

American restrooms:
Without getting into gory details, let me show you what would have a better design of ‘download areas’ in restrooms. (I am kind enough to accommodate even if the door doesn’t go all the way to the floor). By the way, an American client of mine gobbled spicy Indian food and came back the next day to share a realization that Indian food helps in ‘faster download times’ but too much of it caused diarrheal complications with side effects like heartburn, indigestion etc.
ideal-restroom

The actual design is such that there is increased openness that is introduced in the environment and the door is less wider than the outer frame. This leaves a one inch gap on both sides when the toilet door is closed. So, every time a person goes in, he is wondering if somebody can see him. Also, if he hears a child’s voice, the mind wanders to ‘would that little son of a gun be too curious to bend down’ or worse, enter through the vast opening below the so called door?
actual-restroom

Why this airy design is common across the country cannot be answered by me but its surprising how this open design has not been changed over the many years – could it be to lower costs? I don’t think so. Wait, this is not enough! At Mellon Arena, where I am told that a famous Van Damme’s movie was shot, the men’s restroom was an absolute shocker. I fortunately found a picture and need not write anything to express my utter disbelief.
restroom
The shift from parallel to series is not just restricted to electrical circuits, huh!

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10 thoughts on “Roads to restrooms – it happens only in Amreeka!

  1. “The shift from parallel to series is not just restricted to electrical circuits, huh!” – Good One! LOL!

    Even when chennai went thru worst of water problems, nobody was ready to implement this serial implementation in cinema or marriage halls. Probably they did not even think about a this kind of restrooms!

    Ranga: Thanks for your comments and welcome too! 🙂 nalla vela, they didnt think of such ideas in Chennai. it is a repulsive idea. latest trend is the waterless loos where u feel guilty about not flushing but the board proudly talks about how much water gets saved thanks to the superior latest technology. vella kaara pasanga seem obsessed about removing use of water especially in restrooms, huh! toilet paper – adhu vera oru periya culture change and now the waterless pee pots 😉

  2. Ouch..I don’t know about everyone else, but as a guy that last pic was just painful to see.

    P.S. Did you get my mail?

    Ranga: Completely share the same feeling. I replied to your mail id, romba thanks thalaiva 🙂

  3. hilarious post.. especially the last line!! too good!

    I don’t know about men’s toilets.. but I have seen dressing rooms like that! I hope you have seen ishq and the famous dialogue..’ek stri aur ek purush adhunangi haalat mei kab milte hain?’. Modern day answer would be, ‘when both are peeping out of their dressing rooms’!

    Anyway, bad jokes aside.. I do take offense to your missing honks in US!

    Ranga: Yeah dressing rooms would be a good analogy but similarity is restricted to the open areas at top and bottom of the door. fortunately side la gap illa.
    ha ha … abt honking – its strange, in Chennai, i hate the sound of horns but here, it is so quiet that i wish i could chumma honk away at someone once in a while to get the feel of actual driving. automatic gear and US roads – its anyway too boring, da.

  4. Hey you inspired a post on my blog. I have been meaning to write a post about restrooms for a long time, and I finally managed to do it.

    Ranga: v good, v good 🙂 i read and posted a comment too on that post. soopper baa neeyee!

  5. 😀 I hate driving in the US too. Such a bore and such a pain. And most people have tinted windows, you cannot even see what they are doing inside. Well, I’d be interested.

    About restrooms – LOL, I know what you mean 😀 I hate using restrooms in the US for other reasons too 😛

    Ranga: Hmm … curious to know about your perspectives as well 😉 I loved the driving around for the first few days due to high speeds but when you start driving long distances, its such a bore. In India the surrounding change a lot and you got to be alert all the time, but here, its like a copy paste across the country, esp the whole of East coast. puts you to sleep and thats the dangerous part as well 😦

  6. Hi Ranga, u put in humorous, entertaining words, what i vaguely felt ever since i came to US. It is very disconcerting to know that , say , in office, u cud be recognized from ur shoes ! And tall ppl’s heads would be visible when they had just finished or about to sit — not very nice .
    ROTFL abt a kid crawling under the door — super joke.
    At one of my client locations, i found Americans to be very much at home in rest-rooms — a client person sitting, making explosive sounds and calmly talking to another guy at the wash-basin. Talk abt sang-froid .

    Ranga: Laughing – you touched a topic I intentionally avoided. By the way, the Japs have invented a device that is attached next to the toilet paper stand. It has a button that can be pressed to generate flushing sounds so that other sounds can e effectively muted 😉 I was ROTFL when I read this. Another practical situation that I find so irritatingly funny is when an American sees you in the restroom and asks you ‘hey hows it going?’ aiyyoo, what answer does he expect? ha ha ha ha – i will stop this here otherwise my blog will need a freshener 😉

  7. I totally agree with the toilet design .. i just dont get it 😉

    Ranga: Ha ha … strange isn’t it? I sincerely hope cinemas, malls and other public places in Swades dont start blindly copying such pathetic designs in the name of globalization etc.

  8. Eeeow! There’s a design in series now!! Why! Why! It was complicated enough with circuits. This would be so weird! 😉

    Nice post!

    Ranga: The weirdness quotient increases even further when there are mirrors in unnecessary locations! 😉 i shall not get into any details 😦
    Thanks for the compliment. I visited your blog – its great. Therefore, a nice comment from you is fantastic!

  9. I am reminded of an episode in Friends when all 3 male leads discuss a situation standing around d toilet! it was hilarious! manusana nimmadhiya ‘download’ kooda panna vidale na ena country adhu?! shame shame puppy shame!! 🙂

    Ranga: I know the episode you are talking about 🙂 indha country la ppl dont bother while downloading – namakku dhaan oru culture saacku – ava ava jaaliyaa thona thonannu pesindu vera irippaanga and the funniest question is ‘hey howz it going?’ dayee, lollukku oru alavey illaiya da … rotfl!! 😀

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