They’re different types of public restrooms: rest area restrooms, mall restrooms, theme park restrooms, restaurant restrooms, gas station restrooms (yuck!) and office or corporate restrooms. Supermarket restrooms are the best; clean, fully stocked and a pleasure to do business in. I will leave out gas station restrooms as most of them are deplorable and to me are the very last resource. Over all, I find public restrooms a safe haven for people just as the airport smoking rooms are for smokers ( if they still around). Here one can unwind carelessly; shy in the beginning, but comfortable as the “business” is taken care off. There is however, some protocol in every public restroom, depending which type of restroom you’re using.
Generally, inside a restroom all manners, class, and egos are left outside. I’ll get into the egos later. Inside the four walls, everybody is equal and with one thing in mind: doing what nature calls. The room gets filled with familiar noises, just like the ones at home, but they’re let go with some sort of fear. It is part of being human to take care of our biological needs, but when we are in public it seems to be weird to do so. People see dogs doing their thing on the street and give a weak, embarrassing laugh at their actions like it is something that it has to be taken care off, but we don’t talk about it. Once one enters a restroom, there is only one thing in mind and that is to take care of “business”. If you’re in a mall, rest area or theme park restroom, you’re free to roam unnoticed. Nobody cares!
Very few people say hi to each other and carry on conversations inside restrooms. Most of the people want to come in and out without even get noticed. I wonder if people pray to walk into an empty restroom. I know I do when I am in a real emergency. The doors open abruptly and there is a sense of urgency in people steps. I have not seen anyone yet walking so casually as if walking in a mall, just wondering around. No, everybody wants to do their thing and get on with their own “real” business outside. If using the urinals, the protocol calls for skipping one urinal. I have never seeing two people side by side in the urinals unless they’re close friends or the restroom is in peak time. In an office or business restroom, casual conversations are normal yet everyone seems to put their conversation on hold until finish with their business. Restaurant restroom protocol is the same but at a smaller scale. Talk is short and general. Passing gas can be heard and it seems to go unnoticed. It appears to be acceptable as long as is short so it won’t disrupt the conversation and does not stink. People do spit on the urinals and blow their noses, just as if they would do in their own homes, I think.
Using the stalls gets a little trickier though. First of all, it is quieter than the urinals, nobody talks. Since the matter to take care of is more difficult for some people, the stalls environment is more relaxing and private thus promotes concentration. Only the shuffle of newspaper, someone coughing up, or the faint, breathless struggle of a bowel movement can be heard. I pray for an empty stall since they’re a hot commodity. Skipping a stall applies here too! Personally, I don’t want to hear the struggle some people go through, let alone the smell. I have been in...