Believe it or not, I have a thing for restrooms. Not like a fetish or an obsession, and not like restrooms get me all hot and bothered, but the diversity of restrooms and toilets around the world is something that makes me smile – or in some cases cringe! My worst experience so far has been in Tunisia and I think I have found my favourite here in Bangalore! I know nothing about interior design or plumbing but I have traveled around 22 countries so far so I can certainly say that I have seen my fair share of loos.
I wasn’t expecting anything but western toilets here in India. In fact, it never really occurred to me that I would run into squatty toilets in India but they are alive and well and a part of my occasional life here. The first one I ran into was at a truck stop on my Bangalore to Chennai road trip to collect my cats from the airport (read that fun adventure here, complete with monkeys, seeing some truckers’ naked ass, and more!). Let me tell you, slippery leather-soled sandals made that first visit to the squatty toilet a bit more awkward that in should really have been. But it was pretty fun just because it was so foreign and so different for me.
Since then I have only ran into squatty toilets a couple of times around town here in Bangalore. Let’s see, there was one in the parking garage of the Embassy Habitat building where a friend lives, in New Krishna Nagar where I learned to cook masala dosa (read here) and a couple of other older buildings in town. To be honest, I am really happy about that too because I still haven’t quite figured out the trick that Indian women do with the bucket and pitcher of water…and –not to be too graphic—but I certainly haven’t figured out how you instantly dry with no toilet paper after using the bucket and pitcher of water! Ladies, please feel free to comment and share your tips on that! So, yeah, bring on the western toilet and toilet roll 🙂
Now I feel slightly bad for doing this because I love the restaurant and bar. Yet when I first walked in and saw the restroom of 100 Feet Restaurant, on 100 Feet Road in Indira Nagar in Bangalore, I had to stop and giggle. It’s not a restroom or a toilet at all. It’s actually a proper bathroom! Obviously 100 Feet Restaurant was converted and built out from an old home or set of flats because their loo still hosts a bathtub and everything! In fact, after another couple of glasses of wine and on my 2nd visit in, I was tempted to put on some candles, a little mood music, fill the tub and get in! I mean, I had a glass of nice red wine already so it would have been the perfect bubble bath scene. Well, sans the queue of annoyed patrons outside but you know what I mean. ((As a side note: they have the BEST battered Kalamata olive appetizer I have ever tasted, you have to try it. And an amazing wine list!!))
My favourite restroom so far in Bangalore – and maybe anywhere – is at OKO restaurant and lounge, located on the rooftop of Hotel Lalit Ashok on Palace Road. The venue is amazing, like a Thai lounge bar with tons of comfy beds and seating. The food is also amazing…but the restroom is the BEST, I swear. First, it is almost completely round, with a huge amount of space inside and floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall – something we ladies can’t get enough of in most restrooms! It has floor-to-ceiling windows across the largest main wall with a lovely view of Bangalore. The wash basins are inside of tiny alcoves so you have your own space and mirror. And there are even two funky chairs that look like something Tim Burton created for one of his films. The floor tiles are fantastic, the finishings are funky… yeah, yeah, yeah – I love OKO!
One of the other things I really like here in Bangalore are the funky signs that some bars and restaurants place outside the Boys and Girls doors so you don’t walk in through the wrong door and embarrass yourself. I don’t know why more establishments don’t do this as it is a really fun and creative way to extend the brand of the restaurant or bar but oh well. A couple of my favourites are at Fireflies (lovely spot for a drink!) who use illustrations of a boy and girl. The boy has two round dots where his boy bits should be and there is a thought bubble that says Football… and the girl has just one dot where the girl bits should be and her thought bubble says Shopping! The signs at OKO are probably my favourite as they are tremendously elegant…they use carved wooden old fashioned shoes to differentiate the doors.
XOXO from Bangalore
© Angela Carson and Angela’s Adventures in Bangalore blog and photos, 2011