Sweden <--> Ohio: Student

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I've arrived.

I flew from Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany, then to Stockholm, Sweden and then onto Vaxjo, Sweden. It was more or less 24 hours spent in airports or in the air.

My favorite or most interesting thing about the airports were the variety of toilets I encountered. American toilets are porcelain pedestal with a rectangular porcelain box on the back with a lever attached to the side. Pushing down on the lever flushes the toilet. My favorite (or least favorite, depending on my frustration level) toilet was the one I found in the German airport.

It was a regular pedestal (small details made it obviously foreign but the most basic features were the same) but mounted on the wall. There was no rectangular box full of water and no levers to press. There was a small black sensor thing that I placed my hand in front of several times to no avail (perhaps it was an automatic model with no need for levers?). The only other detail on the wall was a large plastic slightly raised box (a huge flat light switch?) that I surmised had something to do with maintenance, storage of seat covers, or perhaps feminine product disposal. After examination of every aspect of the toilet (including the bottom of the bowl and the floor and the off chance that the flushing mechanism was a button of some sort), which took perhaps 30 seconds, I started fumbling with the plastic box on the wall.

The toilet flushed. The large flat plastic switch was the flushing mechanism. I felt both stupid and very smart, something I'm finding is characteristic of my experience abroad so far.

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