Monday, 3 January 2011

Further Adventures of Intellectual Friend: Polish Plumbing

Intellectual Friend has been travelling again! This time to Poland! (If you missed Intellectual Friend's excursion to Iceland, you can read about it here and here.)

Our first picture is of a toilet in the bar Jadwiga, in the town of Toruń, at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve. It looks reasonably clean for such a time on such a day, but if you look closely (which we have, of course, done), the toilet brush is pretty grotty, and there seems to be stubborn dirt encrusted on the toilet roll holder and on the underside of the toilet seat.

There is an air-dryer, rendering Hygeia sneering and haughty, BUT there is also a paper-towel dispenser, albeit empty.

Here is our next stop on our Polish adventure: the pub Togun.  Looks pretty picturesque, doesn't it?

Let's look at what Intellectual Friend has to say about this eminent pub:

Togun, one of the pubs that nestle in what used to be cellars under the old buildings (medieval to 17th century). Togun used to have much wood panelling with weird things sculpted or carved, including fake manuscript pages written in pseudo-Latin, and runes too; there were runes even on the doors to the toilet (text probably fake as well, I think, but the runes seemed true, in Younger Futhark style, and I think I have a transcript somewhere). Also there was a huge dragon creeping on the ceiling. Unfortunately there was a change of management recently and they did away with such intellectual curiosities, and replaced the wooden furniture with those blue armchairs which are as deliciously comfy as they are horribly jarring. However, they left the massive doors be.

The narrative continues:

As one looks at the two toilet doors, it is unclear whether ladies/gents segregation is intended. Customers seem not to bother. I usually go to the slightly larger one, partly in order to enjoy some more room, but it was occupied and I ventured into the other one, on the left.
Note the PEEPHOLE under the brass lion head! It is old and visibility is poor, making it uncertain which peeping direction was meant; nevertheless, and no doubt for some unconscious bastard-male-chauvinistic reason, I always assumed it must have been designed for peeping into the toilet from the outside, as a means of innocent entertainment offered to the predominantly male clientele, and I therefore always inferred it was the ladies' toilet

Ladies' toilet (?) with peephole
Brave the peephole-enriched toilet, and you will discover a delightfully cross-gender-friendly arrangement: a toilet and a pissoir! Intellectual Friend ponders the possibility of sociable toilet-going being intended (if you remember, the same theory was broached to explain a similar arrangement in Reykjavík).

At the risk of being crude, we wonder if this might be
an opportunity to multi-task?

There's a mixer tap, which Hygeia approves of, but we can't spot any soap,
which makes her very pissed off indeed

The door from the inside
Ladies and gents, there's more Polish Plumbing coming in our next update!

If you'd like instructions on how to get to Toruń, or the transcript of those fake runes, don't hesitate to e-mail us on

Rynek Staromiejski 1
87-100 Toruń
+48 56 621 02 17 ‎

Żeglarska 24
87-100 Toruń
+48 56 621 02 89    

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