27 May 2011

Ode de Toilette

It’s April 23rd, 2002, and almost noon as the train pulls into La Spezia Centrale train station. I have been in one spot since I left Marseille at 5am. My friends and I have about a half hour until our train leaves for the Cinque Terre and I have to pee. But, not just have to…REALLY have to. Ugh, a train station…not my first choice of locations, but you can’t be picky when you’re traveling, right? With trepidation, I follow the signs to the restroom. Low and behold, I walk into a brand new, sparkling train station bathroom with new tile walls, white marble counters and everything is clean. How fantastic! Who would have guessed? I am filled with relief and confidently approach an empty stall-- but I am stopped dead in my tracks. Inside this sparkling new restroom with the top of the line everything, is a new, shiny and sparkling porcelain foot grate. What? I couldn’t believe my eyes—a three-foot square, porcelain squat pad, complete with grated foot holders and a spiffy drain in the center. I did not know that companies made top of line porcelain squatting pads.

Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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