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So there I am.
On my knees.
Trapped, once again.
Clawing at the door.
No phone. No emergency alarm. The only Spanish I know is “hola dos mas cerveza por favor de nada” which very strictly translates to “hello two more beers please you’re welcome” – which is wholly unhelpful given my current situation.
Not that it matters anyway. These walls are strong. Probably soundproof.
I should have known it would end like this.
I am in the men’s bathroom. In southern Spain. Where the nation of people have for some reason deemed it acceptable to kit every establishment regardless of its size with no more than one accessible bathroom. None of which have air conditioning. EVEN THOUGH IT’S CONSTANTLY 400 DEGREES OUTSIDE.
How did I lock the damn door in the first place? All this twisting and turning is tough. It’s too hot for this. I think I can see a bright light. It’s calling me. I might just take a little nap.
Make up was a bad choice. I look like a melting Morticia Addams.
Which is not the most attractive look to have when the door pulls open from the other side and you fall out of the bathroom flat on your sweaty face in front of a line of impatient men who look like they’ve been waiting to use the jacks all day.
Oh, hey there boys. What would you know. It opens. Set me on fire, por favor.
This was not my first bad experience with the bathrooms in Spain. Can you blame me? I’ve never been abroad before. Nobody prepared me for this.
Flashback to: the day before.
Halfway through a fishbowl of a concoction of alcoholic liquids in the Paradise Cocktail Bar and I already need to make the bladder gladder. A stick man signifies that the door on the left is the bathroom for the men, and a stick lady alongside a stick figure in a wheelchair signifies that the door on the right is for the ladies slash the disabled. This seems to be the general set-up in most establishments and I can’t help but wondering if they mean to suggest some sort of correlation.
I open the door to the ladies’ bathroom and walk obliviously into a room where one lady is sitting on the toilet and another is stood, hands on hips, beside the sink glaring at me. If looks could kill.
I smile apologetically and get the hell out of there before this glaring lady shoots daggers straight from her eyes right into my chest.
Well look lady. It’s not my fault neither of you locked the door.
I gotta go I gotta go I gotta gooo oh boy oh jeez. How long do these women need? I know I shouldn’t but…
Nobody’s watching. Even if they are, what’re they gonna do? Some of us know how to use locks. Not naming any names (looking at you, stabby eyed hands-on-hips lady).
Slipping into the men’s room, I am confronted with a urinal and a second door. Great. Time to get creative, and possibly flexible. I open the second door and am greeted with a gleaming white porcelain toilet. Thank you baby Jesus in the sky. OH YES, THIS DOOR HAS A LOCK – GET IT GIRL.
I lock the door and hitch up my dress, ready to embrace sweet sweet relief, only to be disturbed by the sound of footsteps outside. For the love of god. I can’t pee if somebody’s outside. What if it’s a man? Without thinking the situation through to any extent, I unlock the door and poke my head out – only to be stunned by the sight of a drunken man poorly attempting to handle his package and use the urinal.
I’msosorry. Um, the ladies was occupied. Do you want me to wait outside and let you go first? Or will I stay in here and you can just knock on the door when it’s safe for me to come out? Oh this is so embarrassing. Reallysorry.
Face all scrunched up, he says something back to me in Spanish which I know doesn’t translate into “hello, two more beers please” or “you’re welcome”. Wonderful. Not knowing what course of action to take, I awkwardly retreat into the small room with the royal toilet, hoping the sound of his footsteps leaving will be as loud as the sound of them entering.
OH GOD. NOPE. NO NO ONE MILLION TIMES NO.
Either the handle on the door is possessed by violent spirits or somebody on the other side is using all of their might to get it open. My bets on the latter, but I’m open minded.
I am terrified. They’re really going at it. Is it the man from the urinal? Please no.
Where is the emergency alarm.
WHY IS THERE NO EMERGENCY ALARM. I AM NEVER USING A SPANISH BATHROOM AGAIN.
Look. Stop. It’s clearly locked. Just knock like.
Or give up. I’m not opening this door until I feel like I am in a safe space.
The fidgeting stops. If that man is on the other side, I’ll make a run for it. He’s surely too drunk to catch me. But no. Hold the darn phone. It’s not him.
It’s dagger eyed lady, looking somehow more furious than she did before. I brush by her and she follows me out.
WHAT. She didn’t even need to use the bathroom. Is this some sort of twisted revenge for accidentally walking in on her? I can’t win. LEARN TO USE A LOCK. STOP GLARING AT ME. I’M GOING HOME.
I’m sorry, my lovely Irish bathroom. I’ll never leave you again. NEVER. In the words of Sinead O’Connor, nothing compares 2 u. I mean that.
Main image via Salvo