Cesspool of toxic waste

Yesterday I had to “do my business” outside our house. Not once, but twice. Ick!  Doing one’s business in a public place in Mexico is a horrible experience guaranteed to cause PTSD in even the hardiest souls. Going to battle with a Mexican bathrooms is not fun.  Of course there are hundreds upon hundreds of lovely bathrooms in Mexico. This blog post is not about them.

I don’t know why so many Mexican restrooms look like they have been bombed. It’s not something I understand, but it happens repeatedly.

You can usually count on one or more of the following happening:

  1. No toilet paper (50 percent chance)
  2. No hand soap (70 percent chance)
  3. No toilet seat (85 percent chance)
  4. Overflowing waste baskets (50 percent chance)
  5. Toilets that won’t flush (50 percent chance)

I’m getting more and more used to these less than ideal conditions but yesterday with my stomach acting up, I just about lost it.  The first bathroom (in a really nice cafe we go to all the time) had one stall completely out of toilet paper and the other stall had no toilet seat!

The second place we visited (a cultural center set-up music and food festival) had no toilet seat either in one stall, and while they did have soap– hooray! – they didn’t have any paper towels.  I found it even more interesting that when I was in the bathroom, they had someone cleaning it but she simply told me in Spanish that no paper towels were to be found.

If a bathroom has a toilet seat, paper towels, hand soap, and is clean, I always say a little prayer of gratitude in my head. I really do!

The state of Mexican bathrooms is of great interest to me because in Japan (where we’ll be living in the spring) every single public restroom even in the busiest train stations is spotless. I trust their state of cleanliness so much, I would completely adhere to the “five second rule” if a piece of candy fell on the floor.  I would do it!   I would eat it. I trust their state of cleanliness that much. I’ve never seen such clean bathrooms in my life!  They never run out of toilet paper or hand towels and their soap containers are overflowing with sweet smelling, silky liquids. Don’t even get me started on how high tech their toilets are!

We’re headed to the United States soon for four days. I’ll see my oncologist and Andy will get some tests.  Then we’ll be back in Morelia for 12 days before we move to Zihuataenjo for four months. I’m excited to return to the beach.





7 thoughts on “Cesspool of toxic waste

  1. This is true not only in public bathrooms, but the beachside bathrooms of four and five star hotels. By 3 PM, all the toilet paper and all the hand towels are gone and the toilets don’t flush—in the ladies room, not so much in hombres where I go pockets stuffed with Kleenex, after the clock strikes 3.


  2. Stacey – tell me about it – that’s why Mexico is off my ‘visitors ‘ list – two public washroom occasions I remember in my most disturbed dreams from years ago – “Mentezuma’s” revenge – one in a bathroom at Woolworth’s in Tijuana and the other at a public washroom at Chitzanetza in the Yucatan – too nightmarish to describe. Another in our hotel washroom in Cancun (at least it was clean as it was private) but a night my colon will never forget and still another on a visit to Aculpulco at the Aculpulco Princess 5 star hotel- I hear the public toilets in Japan are pristine – in fact, toilet paper isn’t even required as it flushes you out with warm clean water like you were going through a car wash. Love cousin Marty


  3. Lol…in Mexico now and could totally relate to this post! I have pretty much encountered every permutation of no TP, toilet seat, plugged toilet, no soap, no towels, etc. etc. Ick! I always dread having to use a public toilet, but I have actually had a few good, civilized experiences lately. Cites are way better than small villages in this respect. As for Japan, I spent some time in Tokyo for business in the year 2000, and I was amazed by the multi-function toilets! One thing I quickly learned, though, was to bring my own towels for drying hands after washing them. Even the nicest public restrooms don’t supply these. And I got the shock of my life in a karaoke bar with coworkers when I went to use the restroom, only to find a hole in the floor! Oh dear…but I had to pee and I had to use it. Not my finest moment, especially after a few beers!


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