You can always count on the French to be polite about human waste. During a recent trip to the Alliance Francaise de Hong Kong, which claims to be part of the largest cultural organization in the world, I had to use the toilet. Much to my surprise, this was the sign that greeted me in the bathroom. Look, I understand that sometimes you are in a rush and some pee might slip out before you’re firmly seated on the bowl. But that’s an extreme case. Plus, since this was the women’s restroom and not a unisex bathroom, I’m particularly confused by its presence. Who knows what the placards tell the men not to do in their W.C.?
Seriously, there was no drain built into the floor, so the people who are peeing outside of the bowl either have terrible bladder control or are doing it simply for their own amusement (which raises a whole separate set of concerns). And why would someone step on the toilet? Anyone who would consider using the porcelain throne as a squat toilet knows what a squat toilet looks like. And this wasn’t one of them. There’s no shelf or anything above the toilet either, so it is inconceivable to me why a person might step on it.
I think the far larger concern for the folks at Alliance Francaise de Hong Kong should be posting a similar sign in French. For an organization that boasts about helping people learn the French language at every turn, this seems like some false advertising and a missed opportunity. That, and it would give people one more thing to read while they’re dropping the kids off at the pool.