Today’s Spanish Lesson ¿Dónde está el baño?

18 May

When out and about in the US, one rarely thinks twice about bathrooms, unless you’re at an outdoor venue and forced to use a port-o-potty.

In Japan I once stumbled into a unisex bathroom which was a surprise to say the least.

Japanese Unisex bathrooms contain stalls and urinals.

Japanese Unisex bathrooms contain stalls and urinals.

In the airport bathroom in Istabul there was a sign asking people to please not wash their feet in the sink. International bathrooms are full of cultural experiences.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

You can’t miss this sign at a roadside Mexican restaurant.

Outside a roadside restaurant.

Pull over I gotta go.

Living in Mexico in the 70’s gives me a point of reference for baños. It was so much worse then. Public restrooms were hard to come by and toilet paper, as we know it, was not common (newspaper, comic books). A lesson my grandmother taught me, and every woman in Mexico knows, never leave the house without tissues.

In Bacalar.

In Bacalar.

Today, there are clean functional toilets (most of the time) in Pemex stations where you stop for gas. The trouble is, they charge $3-5 pesos, $.25-.40 per use. It is a clear discrimination against women, since men have no trouble peeing on their tires. I’m not sure what’s up with the whole peeing on the tires thing, but you see it everywhere, pull over and pee on your tires!

Then one day I came across this –

They can't refuse you service.

They can’t refuse you service.

Handing a few coins to the bathroom attendant in the bus station, restaurant, government building, grocery store or hotel is the norm. I figure that I can afford it and it’s a way to circulate money to people who’s income it is. It’s the same for the people that pump your gas, sack your groceries or help you park your car (whether you need it or not).

So when looking for the baño in México, remember to bring your tissue and always have a pocket of change, or you too could find yourself peeing on your tires.


A Favorite Laguna Bacalar Picture

A Favorite Laguna Bacalar Picture

8 Responses to “Today’s Spanish Lesson ¿Dónde está el baño?”

  1. brucekelley May 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Good post, Alex, and ain’t that the truth: Whenever you go out the door, here in Mx, you should have a bano strategy for where ever you may be going.


    • afish25 May 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Hey Bruce, do they pee on the tires in PV?


      • brucekelley May 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

        Hahaha, Alex, I have not witnessed that, but have many other “pee” events.


      • afish25 May 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

        Oh the stories we have! Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Nancy Taylor May 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    I want to know more about the peeing on the tires thing! My dogs will do that on walks sometimes and I’ve always found it odd. They at least sniff them – weird!


    • afish25 May 19, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      I need to do some more research Nancy. I’ll get back to you.


  3. gialucy2013 May 30, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    I love your account of bathrooms in Mexico and abroad. I was once in Ranch 99, an Asian supermarket in Southern California, where I saw a sign on the wall behind the toilet. It read, “Please do not stand on the toilet seat!” Sometimes you only have to travel within the cultural enclaves of your own town.


    • afish25 May 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      Thanks for visiting. I think we could travel the world visit the bathrooms.


Hey hey what have you got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Hokett Would Work

A premier maker of fine weaving tools and equipment

The Soulful Word

Woo-woo words for heart-centred women, spiritual leaders and goddess warriors on a mission to impact millions

View From Casita Colibrí

gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca

Your Hand in Mind

Musings of a human factors engineer after her brain was released...

Our House In...

Living where we are

Creative Hands of Mexico

Handcrafts, folk art and more

Surviving Yucatan

Smoothing out Mexico's rough spots.

A Boy and Her Dog

Traversing the Border between Butch and Transgender

Surviving Mexico

Adventures and Disasters


travel and random thoughts

Just Another Moment in Paradise

Snippets of an Adventure's Life in Cozumel, Mexico

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

Mexico Retold

There's more to Mexico than meets the media

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Amazon Express

From the most distant source to the sea.

Compass & Camera

Travel, Culture, Life

Biketrash Holiday

Adventures on Two Wheels!

%d bloggers like this: