Friday, April 5, 2013

In which Lucy tries and fails to save money on German bathroom fee

Saturday, January 5, 2002
I’m currently writing about the year we spent in Italy in 2001-02 when I taught in Padova, and I came across a memory Lucy had written in her diary. We had gone to Austria and Germany during my Christmas vacation. At the train station in Munich, Lucy had to use the bathroom, which was staffed by an attendant who collected a user fee. The rates and descriptions were in German, of course, but it seemed that everyone ahead of her in line was paying the higher price of 1.10 euro. Always on the lookout for a bargain, Lucy asked if she could go the budget route and just pay the .60 euro listed for the “pissoir.” She received an odd look, then a smile and then a shake of the head. “For men,” the attendant said, and Lucy had to fork out the full amount. I told her later she should have stood up for her rights and not take such discrimination sitting down, but I think by that time she understood and accepted the situation.

Lindsey also used the facilities, and afterwards, she told me that the bathrooms were "so much cleaner and prettier than in Italy." She said she took her time, because after paying so much, she wanted to get her money's worth.

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