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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
The shift from parallel to series is not just restricted to electrical circuits, huh!