Never before can I say that I’ve given much thought to toilet design. Until I moved to The Netherlands, that is. Dutch toilets (and most throughout Germanic Europe I later found out) are among the scariest. You see, on first sight, they masquerade as normal toilets. This creates a false sense of security in the unsuspecting foreign user, who then lifts the lid and finds…. the inspection shelf.
Dutch toilets are modelled back-to-front. The shelf, I am informed, plays a key role in the health of the nation. The user, on rising from the throne, will inspect (I’m not sure whether with satisfaction, disgust or curiosity) what lies beneath and make a note of the consistency, shape, colour and any abnormalities. Once the inspection is over, the toilet will be flushed… and the bowl cleaned as necessary using the brush provided.
This I can assure you is one aspect of Dutch culture I will never get used to, no matter how long I live in The Netherlands.