Monday, January 5, 2009


Even here, in the most basic of rooms, cultures diverge. Perhaps it's here that they diverge the most. In many parts of Asia, one doesn't sit to "do his business." In France, one washes one's tush in a urinal-looking sink. In the US, girls often make group trips to the bathroom. (I never understood that.)
Some things are pretty cool with bathrooms in Poland. Many have washing machines in them. They're pretty small, but that means they don't take up much space and there's already a crapload of plumbing in the bathroom, why not add some more? Washers are also found in the kitchen (the apartment I live in now has a washer in the kitchen.) While some washers are in the kitchen, I have been in an apartment where the fridge was in the bathroom (atop the washer.) It worked out quite well, actually.
One thing that I find befuddling, is the shower. At first glance it seems no different than any other: a tub, a detachable shower head, a faucet for a bath. What's missing? A shower curtain. This design ensures that the bather must either squat or sit in the bathtub while spraying himself with the shower head in one hand (trying not to spray water all over the room) and cleanse himself in the other. He can't stand up and just attach the shower head to its mount because that will end up creating a puddle on the floor and creating a fine layer of droplets on every other surface. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, and I still haven't figured out why it is this way.

A bathroom with the washer in the lower left-hand corner.

Notice the lack of a curtain. The white object to the left is a heater, not a washer.

The kitchen with a washer beside the sink.

Shit, why stop at the bathroom in this article? All indoor doors have handles on them (a doorknob is not to be found east of the Oder) and they all have windows. It's perplexing, because most people opt to cover the windows with shades, posters, and anything else that is broad enough. Granted, the windows permit no more than a silhouette to be seen but why even that? My only guess is that it allows light to diffuse throughout the structure, even into spaces where there aren't any windows such as the bathrooms. It's not a terrible reason, now that I think of it, but covering them up with the aforementioned covers defeats the purpose.

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