I like to maintain traditions as much as the next person—remember Tevye singing “Tradition” in the movie Fiddler on the Roof? A tradition in Paris is about to become extinct—all in the name of “progress.”
Well, one of the traditions—or should I say, experiences—was being in the men’s public bathroom while the female attendant waited for me to finish so she could tidy up the place after I left (and collect her half a franc). Imagine the impression this made on a ten-year-old American boy living in Europe over fifty years ago.
These Paris toilet ladies or as they are affectionately known, “dames pipi” or pee ladies, are about to be dismissed by the government in favor of a Dutch company called 2theloo (cute name, huh?). You see this company has developed a new automated toilet technology. What it really flushes down to is cross-selling toilet products. Yep, the dames pipi are expected to follow me to the stall, be able to speak multiple languages, and sell me stuff like toilet paper and tooth-brushes. Their traditional cleaning responsibilities seem to have taken a back seat to cross-selling toiletries. Read More The Pee Ladies of Paris