Monday, July 25, 2011

Little Difference #7

I've always made really long car trips. Always. I can't even begin to count the numerous hours of my life that have been spent driving somewhere.

When I was little my family traveled to Iowa at least two times a year to visit family...fourteen or fifteen hours in the car. 
We spent every spring break skiing in Colorado, a seven hour drive. 
When I started college I picked a university seven hours from my hometown and then moved to a school almost twelve hours from Canyon. 
For grad school I went to Iowa, a fourteen hour drive.
After school, Jay and I moved to Wyoming which is about thirteen hours from family in Texas.

Traveling long distances in a car has never been a big deal to me. You load up early, get some great snacks, and hit the road. When you feel tired, need gas, get hungry, or need to use the restroom, you stop. You pull into a gas station or food place, take care of business, reload on goodies, and are on your way again. 

Never in all my time spent driving to and from, here and there, did I see this.

Now, once on a drive to Louisiana for church camp we stopped at a bus station in Dallas in the middle of the night. We were able to get off the bus and stretch our legs and I remember the bathroom having a pay toilet. I also remember it being terribly disgusting. I have not spent any time in really big cities in the U.S., and I'm wondering if they use pay toilets there??

In Europe, especially along the highways, you have to pay to go the restroom! We have seen this in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. There is generally a long line (or queue as they call it) with a turnstile that's locked. When you put in your change...anywhere from 50 cents to a Euro, the turnstile unlocks and you can enter. At some of the places in Italy there was an attendant you paid. 

I'm not sure why they charge you. At some of the roadside stops in Germany you paid 70 cents but then got a ticket worth 50 cents off a purchase in the store. It has been an interesting discovery here. Just another little difference!

**Don't worry, I wasn't being tacky taking pictures in the queue for the restroom (or WC as they call it many places here...for water closet?). I borrowed these from the internet.

Tot ziens!

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