The legacy of being ill has caught up with me today. Francesca took the day off so we could go out sight seeing, but after a late breakfast both of said we needed a nap and about 4 hours later we woke up. I ought to point out that I am sleeping in the lounge and Fran is in her own room, is that quite clear now? OK
Anyway we woke up at about 5 and got out the house eventually. We took a stroll around the local vicinity had a Chinese meal and I took a load of pictures, some of which are below. Some of the pictures can be shown in their larger form by clicking on the picture, if you do that another window should open up with the picture in. If you’re using Internet explorer you can further expand the window by pressing F11 and repressing it to return to the normal layout. Once you want to return back to this window either close the picture or minimise it.
After the pictures there’s a bit more writing otherwise that’s it for today.
After all that arty stuff I wanted to touch on something a little less high brow. If you don’t appreciate subjects on the lavatorial level I suggest you go onto the next page by clicking here . Otherwise read on.
I’m not going to get into this subject in too much detail, but one of the first things that struck me about Vienna was the design of the toilets. In my travels I have come across a lot of different designs and have often wondered why it changes so much for something that is pretty much universally approached with similar needs. So far the American toilets have struck me as being the most practical, that was for two reasons, firstly many of them had a duel flush system that allowed for less water to be used unless the job was bigger. Secondly the design of the pan was such that cleaning of the back of the pan was almost always unnecessary.
This may seem a rather adolescent thing to talk about however I think that my bringing this subject up is actually driven by a an adult search for understanding because having come to Vienna I have been faced with a toilet pan design that has at its least perplexed me, and at most slightly disturbed me. The design of the pan is such that the pool of water is at the front and the rear half is formed as a plateau. As you can imagine when one has a “bowel movement” the (now lets cut the crap here) shit does not end up in a pool of water but instead sits on this ledge and continues to pollute the air to such an extent that pleasant reading is not possible. True by doing this the unhygienic splashings that can ocur are avoided, but that is the only good reason as far as I am able to see.
Now it might be that cultures who choose this style of toilet pan have a very different approach to shit than others. For instance the British toilet gets the crap out of the way so that extended meditations can take place without poisoning the toilet user, and this may also be because toilets were developed during Victorian and Edwardian times, when the shit of life was essentially denied. For me, having my shit sitting so close by was disturbing because generally speaking outside of a quick glance to check I am well in that department I try to avoid any contact where possible. For the first time in my life I actually felt a bit guilty flushing away my shit. Up until now I had always “objectified” and objected to it so was pretty quick to flush it down the pan! Faced with this dilemma the second time around I flushed it away as soon as it came out almost, I wasn’t having it sitting close and getting pally with me again…. oh no!
Perhaps the Austrian approach to shit is a bit more up front (or up rear in the case of their pans), than the British / American’s. I don’t know. What I do know though is something can be understood about a society by what toilet design and technology it utilises.
My friend Francesca says that Vienna is where Freud lived throughout much of his life and he too had his theories about the anal stage and anal fixation so maybe there’s a connection there.
Anyway enough of all that. Here’s a picture of Francesca returning from the wash room.