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    I have been to that café! I remember the whirling toilet seat and the lack of PQ. Here's my little astuce for you, carry those handy little tissue packs made by Lotus. Now, you don't have to buy the minty ones unles you want to put a little excitment into your life but they have saved me and my friends many times when we've encountered PQ-less bathrooms.

    Funny that she spun the toiletseat for you...

    I spent time in India, COquette, and over there it's worse - they keep a little pitcher of water next to the toilet instead of toilet paper. After going, you are supposed to rinse your you-know-where with the water and you (GET THIS) left hand. Since then, and after living in France where you never know what you're gonna get, I always keep a bit on me.

    Incidentally, the left hand is referred to as 'dirty hand' and you're never supposed to touch anyone with it. It's pretty rudde, needless to say. This was, ahem, quite difficult for me, being a left-hander.

    at least you rinsed your hands :P

    Oooohhhhh, wonder if it was the Café du Métro? I had 'une drame de toilette' there once which is too embarrassing to relate, but it had a lot to do with the coin-in-the-slot access.....

    Ding ding ding...'twas Cafe du Metro. At least that sounds right, I'm not there right now, but it's the one on the north side of blvd. Saint Germain.

    Flare, using mint tissues in that fashion has really put a startling image in my head.

    I have often wondered why the toilet paper in France is of such poor quality while the Lotus tissues are like "super-Bounty" that can survive the washer & dryer cycles in one piece. Why not get the Lotus company to produce toilet paper as well? Does it take an Americaine to come up with this idea? How could they have not thought of this already? Is it a cultural thing- that the quality of t.p. is not an isssue to the French since their shit don't stink & it is for us cause we're so full of it?! As an aside, I was once confronted by an anti-American Parisian that was so offended by all ideas/thoughts American she couldn't stand herself, my come back to her was," As an American that appreciates and loves most things French, and who wished that Versailles was in her culture, I must say that if the Americans had built Versailles it would have bathrooms!

    I love those whirling toilets! When Keanu Reeves comes back to the table where Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson are sitting at Le Grand Colbert, I can imagine where he (or his character) has been, and I remember that that's where I saw one for the first time.

    No. Toliet. Paper.
    And it costs money to get into this paper-less bathroom?
    Why not save yourself the money and just go outside? I know at this point personal pride can't be a stopping point...

    lotus does make toilet paper... the expensive tp
    LIDL has good cheap tp though

    i always have lotus with me for those sans tp moments

    The other thing about french toilet paper...

    until my mother, who has lived in the US for the past 30 years, convinced them otherwise, my grandparents insisted on toilet paper that was dispensed sheet by sheet like a box of kleenex. No rolls. Totally a male-oriented toilet paper delivery system--any female would need to keep grasping, sheet by sheet, until achieving the desired ply/absorbency ratio...

    Poor thing.

    If there's no Charmin in a bathroom, I just won't go.

    Quelle coincidence. I got a travel catalog in the mail yesterday and it offered bathroom survival kits, 10 for $6. Each kit contained a paper toilet seat, 10 tissues, and a moistened towelette. Those wipes would have come in "handy." Har har.

    Ah, Paris. A city with 21st century mentality and 17th century bathroom habits. (rest of Europe ain't any better...)

    TOILET PAPER...?TOILET PAPER...? You are lucky ya didn't have to crouch down , while holding up your skirt, and balancing on Manolo's...what are they called...? Oh yeah Turkish toilets ARGGGHH

    C'est enchante'!

    Thanks for telling this story, I will def be bringing tissue paper to all my travels. But at least the toilet actually had a seat. Believe me, I've been to some toilets which is literally a hole in the ground -not pleasant at all.

    In St. Petersburg I paid 15 rubles (less than 1 American dollar) to enter a bathroom that not only had no toilet paper, no soap, and crappy sinks, but NO TOILETS. There was a hole in the floor inside some sort of St. Petersburg equivalent of a stall.
    In Moscow some public bathrooms had stall-like dividers but no doors, so you sat on a toilet watching the people washing their hands and looking in the mirrors.
    The first Russian bathroom I found with a door that locked, a sink with warm water, soap, toilet paper, AND a working toilet made me so happy that I took 5 pictures of it.

    I'm curious, how can you have spent so much time in Europe and not already know to carry toilet paper? I was warned by many people before I left the U.S. to bring tons of travel tissue.

    I hate when that happens! I do like those whirly toilet seat protectors but without toilet paper...

    Sammy- I have heard about the pitcher by the toilet in India. Ew. EW! When we meet, let's just keep it to the bises and we'll keep our left hands to ourselves. :)

    Lida, Now that I live here, I can avoid the public restrooms I know will be bad, being that there's always an apartment/office, etc. if I can hold it. But yeah, I've done turkish toilets, all that. Side of the highway crouching pit stops are my favorite (now they have more service stations in France, but not every mile like in the US)....

    Stall like dividers with no doors? That is deliciously absurd.

    "If there's no Charmin in a bathroom, I just won't go."

    Paris can get painful for a girl like you.

    It ain't called a "water closet" for nothing...

    Why do the French call it PQ?

    Papier... quimique? What?

    I've lived in France (around Paris) off and on for 15 years. I wonder if anyone out there has ever met a French person who washed his/her hands after going to the toilet? I know I haven't.

    I have toured France a lot and along with paper and privacy issues, what I REALLY cannot understand is why do they not fit seats!! The bowls are made with the mounting holes for seats so what is going on here?

    I know exactly what you mean! I absolutely love Paris, but their public restrooms aren't exactly the best haha. While visiting Père Lachaise, I really needed a bathroom and when I got there, there was a boy in the girl's restroom, no soap, no paper towels, no toilet paper (I found this out after I had already locked myself in the stall), so you all can probably guess how this bathroom situation ended up, haha a lot like yours!

    No paper, no soap, no lunette de toilette -- that's France for you!

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    well.. those Turkish toilets with a hole on the ground and a tap inside has a purpose. it's for hygiene! you don't have to sit on a seat used hundreds of times before you do. and how do people get clean after using a toilet seat? toilet paper has limited purposes. i mean, eeeww... how did non-turkish or indian people "go" before toilet paper and seat wraps were made? this is the system we use for centuries. before toilet people used little towels to dry "the newly washed parts". at least you can find toilet paper, water and soap in here. our religion commands us to be clean, we have to use water in every part of our lives. let's just be reasonable.

    It is uncomfortable when you need to go to a public restroom and there is not basic things such as toilet paper or soap. Unfortunately,women have to pay to go to the toilet nowadays.

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