Sunday, April 22, 2007

dijon mustard >> toilets

my earliest memory of dijon was as an eight old child driving with my family through france on the way to a wedding in switzerland in a white vw camper (left) it was 1969.

dijon was the place that for the first time I saw squating toilets, (or turkish toilets as the french call them) still popular in many areas of france, indeed across the world just not on the UK. you needed to squat on two foot shaped raised areas and complete your toilet functions into a hole. at eight in a different country I was bemused I thought I had walked in to a strange sort of shower, my mother explained and I had no trouble with the idea or their use ever since.
the experience has always made me think well of dijon as it was also that I had some what was loosely called french mustard perhaps a strange thing for an eight year old to be trying I don't think so.
I will search out dijon mustard where ever I am. luckily for me my father in law lives just south of dijon so if I can't get my favourite mustard he will bring me some on his regular visits to us. this year I will be able to buy it from the makers as we plan to visit in the summer holidays.

every year for the past five I have been part of a group of teachers who take forty, year nine students to the ardeche river and the mediterranean for a nine day water sports trip as part of their activity week within term time.
every year so far at some point I have had to explain to a handful of students what the 'strange holes' in the toilet block floor are. I think it is odd that the current generation are still as surprised by them as I was in 1969.

I still love dijon mustard though, so perhaps things don't change!

3 comments:

Yang-May said...

Squatting toilets are quite common in Malaysia and they are placed alongside Western-style toilets in the fanciest/ poshest hotels and malls. In some ways, if you get the angle right, you might say that squatting public toilets are more hygienic - especially for women. Althought not specifically about squatting toilets, I've just recently blogged about East v West toilets at http://www.fusionview.co.uk/2007/03/the-sweet-smell-of-success/ - and inspired quite a debate in the comments section....

Carol said...

I know squatting toilets are more hygienic etc but it's still just not right and I'm not going to use them when we go away - I'll wait, thank you.
love me xx

Anonymous said...

funny how a simple thing like a facility for passing bodily fluids creates debate.