I had woken up later than I intended to, and by the time I arrived at my destination (Musee d'Orsay), there was a horrendous line to get inside the museum.
I had waited in line for about 45 minutes, but even so, I had not reached the official roped-off line. At this rate, I realized I would have a maximum of an hour and a half inside the actual museum, and I decided that was not a sufficient amount of time to do the museum justice. So I left the line and started to wander around Paris.
I was getting a little hungry, so I headed to the Latin Quarter where there is this AM-AZ-ING falafel place for a really good price. I ate my lunch with leisure, but even still I had about an hour left before I had to meet Jo*. So I wandered even more.
I walked by the river, walked past Pont Neuf, and just as I was crossing the bridge, my body sent a really unwanted signal. Just FYI, the rest of the story may be more information than you care to know about me, so you can stop reading here if you'd like.
Well, you clicked "Read more," so I'm going to continue.
Anyways, my body sent me the signal of, "you have eaten a sufficient amount of food. I, the body, have digested what I wanted to, and you, Angela, need to help the body out and find yourself a restroom."
I felt stuck. I was in the middle of Paris, with no idea where I could go to use the restroom without having to pay for anything. (AKA going into a cafe and buying a coffee just to use the restroom was an idea that crossed my mind, but I didn't want to pay the 5€.) Then a spark of brilliancy happened.
The day before, I went to the Louvre and there were definitely restrooms there! You ask, "don't you need to pay to get in?" What made this idea brilliant was that I could get into the Louvre for free! (Thanks UAM ID card!!) And since I was already on the way to the Louvre, this idea seemed fool-proof.
I get to the museum, and there is a lot of people hanging around. So I think, "Great! They're open!" Not. Of all the days, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. Sigh. But I am not one to give up so easily! If you didn't know, there is an underground mall-ish type thing underneath the famous glass pyramid. I figure, there must be a restroom there!
I head down there and find signs for a restroom! Success! I follow the signs to the best of my abilities, but I had this sensation of a dog chasing after its own tail. I would follow a sign that pointed straight, and then I would be redirected to the right, then straight again, then left, and so and so forth.
After 10 minutes of speed walking throughout this complex, I realize it keeps on leading me to this one particular store that I had walked by several times with a male and female figure for its logo. At a first glance, I thought it was some home goods store specializing in bathroom interior. Here's the kicker. When I take a closer look at their sign, I realize this was a store selling trips to the toilet!!!
I'm not even kidding.
Unable to fight my disbelief, I walked inside the store, and lo and behold, my assumptions were correct!! They charged 1.50€ for each trip. There were even options for "Mommy and me" for 2€ and a "Deluxe bathroom suite" or something to that effect. (May I ask, why in the world would you need a Deluxe suite??!)
I felt defeated. My body was sending signals continuously and I could no longer ignore its warnings.
I hand her the 1.50€ over, and the girl behind the counter says, "wait here while I get your room ready." She heads into one of the many rooms with a spray bottle and paper towel and returns within a minute saying, "alright, it's ready."
The room is literally a bathroom stall with pretty wall paper. I was expecting some nice toilet paper. I must have been expecting too much.
Like one of these toilet paper rolls that they were selling...
Money well spent? Thanks Paris for a "luxury bathroom experience." I couldn't have asked for anything better...