Public Restrooms Are More Than a Convenience

Public Restrooms Are More Than a Convenience
Where is the bathroom? It's one of the first questions memorized when learning a new language or traveling to another country. In my column "Crohn’s Takes a Holiday," I mentioned the value of clean public restrooms for the most private of purposes. Clean restrooms are a given for most people, and almost everyone can empathize with an IBD patient’s need for privacy. Even before my Crohn’s diagnosis, when I needed privacy I made a conscious effort to use a restroom at least a floor above or below where my office was to avoid running into colleagues. If too many people were in the restroom, I would just wash my hands and leave immediately to find a less crowded one. If another person was already in a stall when I came in or someone walked in while I was in the middle of doing my business, I would sit quietly until they left. And, I’m sure everyone has encountered a “standoff,” or a “sit off” I suppose, when the person in the next stall is doing the exact same thing — waiting for you to leave so they can go in peace. Private, or single-toilet, public restrooms are few and far between, and sometimes I can't wait for privacy. However, clean restrooms are easier to find, and I’ve listed a few tips along with some of my favorite spots when traveling.

Favorite standbys

I can usually depend on restaurants to have adequate restroom facilities. Any establishment that requires a license to serve food and has regular health inspections should have clean restrooms. If I wouldn’t eat there, I’m definitely not going to check out the restroom out of fear of disgust and disease. This is also the reason I avoid gas station restrooms, but I have a few exce
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