Saturday, 17 November 2012

Venting Our Spleen (Right Down the Drain)

Things have been way too cosy lately, what with all the festschrifts and wedding toilets. It's time for a rant. A proper, good old-fashioned, vixen-from-hell rant! The photos below are not from the Malmö Public Library. Oooh, why on earth not? you may well ask, eagerly anticipating conflict. Because they cost five kronor to use and the public toilets right outside are free, that's why. (Five kronor is about £0.5, or $0.7.)

We are very fond of the Malmö Public Library. It's well stocked with books and friendly, intellectual-looking librarians; has a children's section so cutesy it's positively sickening; and is by no means lacking in cleanliness and airiness. But there is no way that a visit to a library toilet costs the council five kronor, not when the average school dinner in Sweden costs 9 kronor to produce. Consequently, we must conclude that council politicians are running the toilets as a profit-making scheme, which is surely not the point of a public library?
What enrages us is that the people most likely to spend enough time in the library to actually need the toilet are society's most vulnerable members: the old, the young, and the unemployed. We have a mental image of council politicians joyfully rolling around in the money they have wrested from the feeble, malnourished hands of impecunious toilet goers.

Here's what the free public toilets just outside the library look like: 

It's not glamorous, but it does the job.

We actually like these handwashing arrangements. Except, obviously, for the vile hand dryer.

A good and sturdy coat-hanger

These fine toilets, right outside the library, are disability-friendly
and completely free to use. Image from
Malmö Stadsbibliotek: Good library. Shit toilets. Image from Idstories.
Ooooh, that cleared the air, didn't it?

Get more information about Malmö's public toilets here.

Further reading
Princely Bogs in Princes Street Gardens (A treat for you, Australian Friend!)
Saturday on Silver Street
Cowering in Copenhagen
A Note on Useful Gifts
Sing If You're Glad to Be a Dane

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