I am unsure how to correctly express the extent of my disgust towards the Mercury Plaza food hall toilet. I will do my best to elucidate the visceral, multi-sensory abyss I encountered but I’m not promising anything.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a food hall is unlikely to have a nice toilet. Let’s just all agree that they are mostly shit-holes. Rarely do we patronise the food hall for the over-all dining experience, rather for cheap, delicious food when you are with a bunch of people who can’t make up their minds. No compromise needed because you can all order from different stalls/countries/planets where appropriate.
Mercury plaza is it’s own little slice of bacteria splattered purgatory. Positioned on one of the few dodgy back streets of K’rd remaining (due to sanitisation and up-scaling of the neighbourhood they have kicked out almost all the creepy sex shops and strip clubs that gave the area it’s gritty, uncomfortable character. A bit like a bike with no seat.) Don’t get me wrong I love the grimier side of K’rd. K’rd in its heyday fascinated and frightened me. I moved to Auckland at 17, prior to the Pink Pussy Cat being bulldozed to make way for expensive clothing stores and galleries. I knew full well that Karangahape Road was a place for whores, used condoms, ill-repute and fun.
The historical part of me misses the way it once was but the grown up bit likes that I can walk without fear of potential bum-rape. ‘Pick a side!’ you might say, ‘you can’t have it both ways!’. ‘Get fucked!’ is my answer. If modern movies have taught me anything it is that we can ALWAYS glorify the past while enjoying the luxury of the present.
BUT Mercury Plaza is too far down that idealised history rabbit hole even for me. It is so far down that you hit the bottom which happens to be a huge pile of rubbish. The methane gas from the compacted rubbish beneath the pile of rubbish you are sitting on hits you in the face and you know you have stepped just that little bit too far back into the grim past.
The smell is the first thing that gets you. It’s the unwashed dried-in urine smell of a back alley. You can almost feel the germs climbing on you like the wave of bees that killed Macaulay Culkin in My Girl.
There was some toilet paper, lots of decorative “art” and ventilation holes (I can only guess to make it go faster?)
It may become obvious that my images get blurry quite fast in this set. Imagine if you will my personal need to run away from this horrible place but my intellectual drive to document the horror for the sake of my blog. Honestly, it all got a bit much for me by this point.
All in all, this is one of the few toilets that I would suggest pissing in the street in broad day light over using.
Cleanliness: -2/10 yep it was that yuck.
Interior: 1/10 the toilet worked and there was some toilet paper, that’s as nice as I can be about it.
Exterior: 1/10 One toilet for a huge complex of shops, food stalls and a supermarket. Generally patronised by the homeless and angry transvestite prostitutes.
Safety: 0/10 I felt the beady eyes of a stab-crazy maniac seconds from my reality at all times. God help you if it is a dark and rainy evening.
Snugglitude: -1/10 I would rather have my panic attack in a bush beside the road than in this bathroom.
Total: -1/50 Worst Toilet in Auckland.