I wonder if Europeans ever have to pee.
I have done my share of traveling and most recently while in Rome, found a potty to be quite the needle in a haystack.
Unless you pay to get into a larger (note I say larger) museum or historical site, your best chance at a public bathroom is in McDonald's, the good 'ol American establishment in Italia.
I didn't think too much into the whole “I have to pee” thing until we were in an indoor shopping mall (of which I got excited over because they MUST have a public restroom), only to find out that it is out of order. No problem, just direct me to the other one. Yes problem, there isn't another one.
It seems that not having an operational bathroom in a tightly packed shopping mall is not a big concern for the incessant coffee consuming people here. A local store shop owner politely suggested I “go to McDonalds around the corner”. Apparently, they understand the primary purpose of McDonalds too.
Could you imagine any shopping plaza or mall in the United States without an operational bathroom? A café that serves food and drink without a toilet?
It wouldn't happen. It is an EXPECTATION, and is probably mandated by some kind of institutionalized public potty police. You don't have to wonder or think twice, it just exists. It's something we take for granted.
When we become accustomed to certain expectations...
...whether it be in our job, relationships, or within society, and it doesn't happen, there is an immediate mindset shift into one or more of these:
- Entitlement - It “should” exist, be that way, happen like this...
- Loss - I “depended” on it.
- Defense - I “refuse” to...
- Victimization - Look at what “happened” to me.
- Panic - What am I going to do??
I ventured into a bit of panic mode (because this could end in an embarrassing situation after all) and found myself irritably thinking, “well they should f*cking fix it because PEOPLE HAVE TO PEE!!!” My worry over finding a bathroom quickly turned to anger and proclaimed entitlement.
Granted, my potty crisis was fairly small in relation to other things that could happen, but it it a perfect example of where the brain can go when faced with a challenge.
Here's the thing, we are human. When the unexpected happens, we usually have some kind of initial knee-jerk, negative reaction. It is impossible to be full of sunshine and sparkles all the time. The point is to understand yourself, have the self-awareness to realize what is happening, and then take a more helpful course of action based on your natural way of processing things.
For example, being primary in self-expression, I know that talking things out is the way to go. Therefore, all I have to do is start rambling my nonsense and irritation to my man to get it out (who understands this about me and patiently nods his head), so that I can be done with it and move on.
Keeping my irritation on the inside, or waiting later to “journal it out”, proves to just create an internal energetic stagnation.
I don't necessarily feel this right off the bat, but let me tell you, it starts to all add up. And at some point, the trash can overflows and I have a ton of chaos in my head, or I just shut down from toxicity - neither of which are particularly helpful. However, this whole internal processing approach DOES work for many. It just depends on your particular energies.
Knowing little details like this (how I operate at soul level) has been a HUGE game changer for me in terms of HOW I deal with the shit that happens. It has really saved me a lot of time and grief holding on to unnecessary negative energy.
Unfortunately, it didn't quite solve the public potty deficit, but you will sleep better tonight knowing that after spewing what I needed to say, I happily and safely made it to the closest McDonalds.
If you have yet to understand the joy and confidence that comes with knowing who you are at soul level, I have a reading or a program that suits your goals.