Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ellen, we were bound to get here eventually - and by here, I mean to the potty talk.

So...I still haven't received my invite from Ellen. I've emailed. I've tweeted. You've tweeted (thank you by the way), and I've blogged (here and here).

Am I hurt? Of course I am. I mean I thought she and I had something. Something real. Something...words can't describe it.

But, I know she is about to be arriving in Australia sometime. Today? Tomorrow? (How should I know? She didn't invite me to her show, it's not like I STALK her or anything.) And there are some things that I just don't want her to be surprised about when she gets here. Things I didn't mention in my previous posts. Things of a strictly bathroom like nature.

Now, let me preface this by saying I haven't been into every bathroom in Australia - public or private. And also, that I love's why I call it home now. These comments are given with love.

First of all, Australians will say that they have to go to the toilet not the bathroom. Nothing too odd there.

Secondly, in the homes I have frequented there are often separate rooms for the toilet and the shower - now this in and of itself isn't that odd, a half bath if you will, but the half baths I'm used to frequenting in the US have sinks in them. The ones that I visit here in not.

I'm not normally a germaphobe, but the idea that I'd use the facilities NOT wash my hands, touch a few door handles and then finally wash my hands gives me the heebie jeebies.

Thirdly, these toilets with no sinks also tend not to have trash receptacles in them, again I'm speaking of  homes primarily here. This also kind of disturbs me because once a month I use the bathroom and generate some waste of the non-bio matter kind if you catch my drift...(and if you don't catch my drift I'm speaking of tampons, their wrappers and other womanly sanitary items, I'M SORRY. It had to be said).

Fourth(ly), sadly when you flush the toilet you won't really be able to notice that the water swirls the other way. I know. I know. But that's because the toilets seem to flush more up than around. Anyway, there isn't a lot of swirling. However, one can fill up the sink to see the water swirl in the other direction.

Fifth(ly), Australian toilets are equipped with a half flush and a full flush function which is absolutely brilliant and we should be implementing in America. They also never seem to get clogged and I've never seen a bathroom that has a plunger near by for toilet emergences (except for our bathroom, but we use the plunger for our clogged shower, never the toilet. If you most know, Nosy Nelly).

Have I imparted every single thing that you, Ellen, need to know before you step foot on to this country's shores. Of course not. But I think we've covered the main points. Enjoy your stay in Australia Ellen.


  1. I have a bin! It always bewilders me when I go to people's houses and their toilets are distinctly lacking in binnage. I find myself wondering what they do instead... and that's when I realise I don't really want to be pondering such questions. It would be so much easier if they just had a bin!

  2. I have a separate toilet and bathroom, AND it has a little hand basin (sink) in it AND a rubbish receptacle. I WIN AT TOILETS!! :D

  3. I first saw the 1/2 flush full flush thing in israel but now they are starting to have them in the usa too, for wter saving purposes!

  4. The sink-separate-from-the-toilet has happened to me in a couple of places and bothers me too! But the half and full flush options? Brilliant.

  5. eeek, the no sink/no trash can thing would freak me out! I've never heard of the half/ flush thing before, that's kinda cool.

    - Val @

  6. All of those bathroom/toilet idiosyncracies are the same in France. I'm still not used to any of it. I asked Max what the split flush button was for once, and he said, "I have no idea. That's just the way it is." In our old apartment in Paris, we had a full bathroom with the bathtub, sink and toilet in the same room. I felt so at home. All other apartments in France, including my current one, have featured the toilet in a separate room (often no bigger than a broom closet) and with no sink.

  7. Well that's interesting!!!!! I've always wanted to go to Australia and I promised myself one day that I will go but I don't know what to make of this whole different room bathroom situation!! I'm sure when you lived in the states you've heard of the channel HGTV where they used to have these House Hunters International programs where people are trying to find houses all over the world etc. I have to catch one for Australia because this baffles my mind that you have to put your hand on the door knob before you can wash your hands. I get the whole privacy thing...but that's kinda gross. If I ever go I will make sure to bring plastic gloves or A LOT OF HAND SANITIZER with me!! =P

    Ergo - Blog

  8. Oh, I did not know that the flush and half flush function is not available in the US.

    And I also know some older buildings in Germany where they had bathrooms with just a lou, and nothing else, and YES it is disturbing to not have a sink there. Same with missing bins.
    I just moved to my new place where there is an all in one bathroom...

    I still hold my fingers crossed that the invitation finally gets through!!!


  9. We have half/full-flush options in the Netherlands. I also never have a clogged toilet here but do, all too often, have a clogged shower which I never had in the US. Hmmm.... I'd say you can get away from the no-bin problem by switching to a reusable product (sea sponge works for me) but the lack of a sink in the toilet closet would be a problem. Luckily, I have a teeny-tiny cold-water-only (which sucks in winter because the water comes out freezing!) sink in my toilet closet. I looked at one house that didn't have a sink in the toilet closet and I thought it would be really annoying to have to go to the kitchen to wash one's hands.

    Sorry you haven't heard from Ellen. Who would have thought she'd be a snob?

  10. The half/full flush has been common in Denmark for quite some years, at what an easy way to think about the environment.
    Keeping my fingers crossed that you invitation will get there soon:)

  11. This was actually super interesting, LOL. My husband and I just moved into our brand new house which adheres to new energy and environmental codes in the states. This means special light bulbs and half/full flush toilets! I'm still getting used to them but they're great!

  12. It sounds an awful lot like England that does Deirdre! And on another note:


    1. I'm sure a lot of the customs here are handed down from the UK ancestry :)

  13. I have never heard of half/full flush. Interesting!

  14. Ellen, what are you thinking!?

    And a toilet that never clogs? We need those in my restaurant!

  15. I thought the half/full flush toilets were everywhere in the U.S. I saw them in most new/remodeled houses we looked at when we were house shopping, so I figured they were mandatory. Maybe it's just a local city code, though.

  16. Popped in to say hi! I always thought the toilet swirling the other way was a myth!

  17. No sinks would give me the heebie jeebies too!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  18. I would totally be stalking her.

  19. I've seen some flushers with "up for liquid" & "down for solids." Which sounds gross, but I think it might be similar to the half flush?!?


  20. Geez, what was she thinking not to invite you to a show! That's just crazy talk, there.

    As for the toilet talk, I still remember my first experience with an Australia toilet. I'd never encountered the whole half flush/full flush business, so I didn't know which button to push. Awkward. My friends probably thought I had an greater problem, but no . . . just trying to figure out the toilet. It's not like I could go out and ask someone . . .

  21. The no washing hands RIGHT AWAY before touching door knobs and other things gives me the heebie jeebies, too.

    ...and NO trash receptacles.


    XO Lourdes

  22. Such great stuff about the loo. Oh, gotta go with the hand washing though.

  23. Half flushers? Oh that sounds bizarre. :/