So like I mentioned in my last post, coming here has really made me appreciate the awesomeness of American bathrooms. Not that the bathrooms here are horrendous or anything, they're just...different. I've had several conversations with my ex-pat friends, and they all said the same thing that I was thinking: it took some getting used to. And since I have the tendency to fall on this side of crazy, surely they can't be as nuts as me about it (surely!).
Observation #1: They're wicked small. This is not a surprising phenomenon, as most things here in Europe are a lot smaller than our American counterparts, but alas, there are bathrooms so tiny here that sometimes you can be touching all four walls while sitting on the porcelain throne and still have so little room that you can continually wash your hands while doing so. I suppose hurrah for cleanliness but I've spoken to my apartment agent about it and she says even the Finns are getting sick of it - their newer apartments have huge bathrooms (even to the point of overcompensation).
Observation #2: There is a small nozzle next to every sink I've seen, and no one seems to know what it is for:
I assumed, on first sight, that it was some sort of modern bidet, but on thinking about it a little bit more, I'm not sure how this would always work. Plus they're not always near toilets. So...do you sit in the sink? That doesn't seem very hygienic. I asked my apartment agent about it yesterday and that's what she thought it was but when I asked her more closely about it she admitted she had no idea either. So even the Finns are confused! O_O My dad, having seen them in men's restrooms as well, assumes that they might be for washing your hair in the sink, in case you don't want to shower. Possible, but none of these seem very practical or reasonable. Thoughts?
Observation #3: Showers don't seem to have any sort of borders, so when you shower, water gets EVERYWHERE. The first time I showered in my current temporary apartment I figured this might happen (since it's just a shower curtain and a drain hole), and I showered as carefully and daintily as possible. See the setup here:
Utter fail. Water, everywhere. One of my friends even said he got his toilet paper wet the first time he showered (complete fail). There are little tweaks you can do to make it less devastating over time, but overall, it seems the only solution is to mop it up afterwards (I've seen apartment listings now with mops in the shower stalls), or squeegee it to the drain (similar technique). Naught can be done! O_O
Now I'm sure you understand why I am searching for the perfect apartment with the perfect bathroom. Yes the kitchen is important, and yes, having an apartment that is big enough for all of my crap is important. But man oh man, a great bathroom is worth fighting for. O_O