The last few weeks have seen my plan to preserving every Friday as a sacred, not to be fucked with writing day, go up in smoke due by my unreliable health. Each week I plot out blog ideas and construct time tables with the intention of spending the whole day immersed in the cool, watery joys of logophilia, but sadly my body has other ideas.
By the time Friday rolls around I am most likely wreaked with migraine, nausea, exhaustion and existential malaise. If I could manage to get the wherewithal to write something it would be about as effective and inspiring as; “pppppfffththththttttttttt.”
Last weekend began with two days of lying on the sofa, feeling sorry for my self, taking medication, and napping. By the time Sunday rolled around I was finally feeling something close to human. Sunday was also the day I was due to celebrate my darling friend Jade’s birth with a trip to the Auckland Zoo followed by fish’n’chips in the park (Thank you Pasadena Fish’n’Chips for the awesome noms).
I began by medicating the bejezzus out of myself to control the tightness in my head, keep my nauseated belly on the down-low and hold my anxiety at a manageable level. Such a social and public outing has the added bonus of many toilets for reviewing while we wobbled about in the lovely sunshine around and about Western Springs Park, Hoorah! Some of the bathrooms turned out to be more worthy adversaries than others, as you will see over the coming weeks.
Now, we all know a public toilet on the edge of a children’s playground isn’t going to be a place of joy, harmony and singing cherubs, but I always hope the most basic level of fundamental human rights will to be adhered to. Western Springs public toilet, has no rights. It’s like a war zone. If bacteria and disease grabbed their oozies and called for an all out combat this would be their Waterloo.
To begin with the two units on the left of the above photograph didn’t lock. “Yeah so big deal, lots of toilets have broken locks” I hear you say but not all toilets open directly onto a children’s playground and picnic area in one of Auckland’s largest parks. I don’t know about you but I have no interest in being arrested for public indecency because a line of endless children opened the door while I had my pants around my ankles. The lack of any sense of security would cause me more panic than being near a bathroom could ameliorate.
Once inside things only get worse. Every time I use these bathrooms it looks like the cleaners have missed them off their route because they are ALWAYS disgusting. I know they are heavily used and abused by the hundreds of visitors to the park every day but honestly if you know they are being used that much perhaps add an extra trip to the cleaning schedule? It’s not rocket science.
Who throws paper in bundles on the floor in a toilet?? I have no idea why you would do that. Did someone find a small injured bird and begin fashioning a nest in which it might recuperate? Only to have the bird fly away and get eaten by a feral cat right before your eyes making you too despondent and dejected to remember to clean up the huge pile of unused toilet paper you began making on the bathroom floor?
So much unused paper, so much piss on everything. This place is just hands down gross.
After you have shot from the toilet in a wincing rush, fearing you are now covered in the fecal germs of every person to ever have patronized the park , you can at least calm yourself by running into the undergrowth and hyperventilating to the beautiful view of ducks and birds, in full knowledge that their toilet is far cleaner and nicer than the one available to you.
Cleanliness : 1/10 I didn’t see any actual shit on the walls so they get one point. Granted, I didn’t stay long enough to make more than a cursory glance about. The smell is never a nice experience when a bathroom is this badly abused.
Interior : 2/10 Basic, rubbish metal-shell exceloo; poorly designed, horribly maintained.
Exterior : 5/10 The park, once you escape the playground is gorgeous, but choosing a toilet that has no privacy, opens right on to a crowded area and is used a million times a day is rarely my favourite option. This toilet is a use if you MUST, as in I’m going to shit myself right here and now. Otherwise go around the corner to the zoo (there is a toilet just inside the door before you have to buy a ticket) or drive up the road to a service station. Also parking is never good as the zoo car park is too small for their purposes, so don’t expect to roll up and roll out with ease.
Safety : 6/10 As earlier mentioned use this bathroom at the discretion of your hopefully very strong immune system or if you fancy a bout of gastro to get a few days off work reading a good book on your toilet at home. With all those kids and parents around you’re not likely to be in any real danger of murder or mugging during the day. The park is often filled with drunk teens and marauding sex-pests at night and perhaps not the best place to hang.
Snugglitude : -1/10 None. Less than none.
Total : 13/50 Grim