The other day I was walking down Bourke St and I was busting to go to the toilet and all I could find was one of those self-washable silver toilet blocks.
I had to wait out the front whilst someone was finishing up. When I finally got my turn, I went in and shut the door.
A voice came over the speakers to tell me that I had 10 minutes before the door would open. Classical music turned on as the pungent stench infected my nostrils. The wet dirty moist wall had a number of unpleasant smears and the toilet was filled.
I tried to find the flush button but when I did I realised I wasn’t going to touch it. If I wasn’t busting I would have ran.
But I was in a bit of a state so I close my eyes, aimed and tried not to make a colourful yawn.
As soon as I finished I got out of there not even attempting to wash my hands.
I walked away feeling dirty. I wondered what girls do. Believe it or not these facilities are unisex. I’m all for unisex toilets, but I feel that, more often than not, the females often get the short end of the straw.
When I was younger I spent most of my days walking around the city. And I know where some of the best toilets in Melbourne are located. So, I normally don’t have any issues, but I feel sorry for the tourists that have to use these amenities.
This got me wondering why all the beautiful heritage-listed underground toilets have been covered over. Built about 110 years ago to try and control the smells of horse manure and urine smell throughout the city, these underground toilets are historic, clean and beautiful. However, about 10 years ago most of these historic rest rooms where concreted in and in their place came these self-cleaning smell boxes.
Why would we choose to use these horrible toilets when we have awesome and historic toilets all around the city from the front of the Vic Market to the back of Flinders Street Station and everywhere in between. When I was a kid some of these bathrooms even had bathroom attendants.
As this city grows and changes there are some things that we need to hold onto and these toilets are an important part of Melbourne and its history.
These beautiful and historic toilets need to be re-opened and put back to their former glory. As for the silver self-cleaning smell machines, I wouldn’t even go into one to do graffiti.
Have a beautiful month.