Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple and Brilliant

Here's a sink in a petrol station in Italy. What do you notice?

Firstly, as I've mentioned before, it's sparkling clean.

Secondly, it has no taps.

Now then, taps on public sinks in Britain are of several kinds:

1) Two taps of the type that you turn on, rather grubby. Often only one of them works.

2) The type where you press the top to make it work. Sometimes they're jammed on and won't stop flowing. Sometimes they're jammed off and won't start.

3) Those automatic taps where you have to wave your hand in front of them. The tap gives you precisely four drops of water and then stops. You wave your hand and get another four drops. Then it sulks for a bit and won't give you any at all. So you have to go all down the row of sinks flapping your hands like a fledgling learning to fly, until you find one that gives you another four drops.

In Italy, they have a solution that is simple yet brilliant, and I have never seen it in this country. It is this:

It's a switch on the floor. When you want water, you press on it with your foot and the tap on the sink above provides you with water. And when you have finished with the water, you leave, and you take your foot with you, so that it's impossible to leave the tap on by accident.

Simple and brilliant.

Yes, the floor's clean too. Have you ever, EVER seen a clean floor in a toilet in a British petrol station? Perhaps the owners clean them and the customers throw stuff on the floor, I don't know. But they are never clean.

I love some things about Britain, particularly my family and friends and the scenery.

But sometimes I'm just SO tired of the things that we put up with here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over 35 years ago a proposed foot-taps for British loos but no one was listening... sigh. I should have been in Italy all this time.

It has always bothered me: turning a tap off with a clean hand which you previously turned on with a dirty hand... and how do you know if a nail brush is clean when it is used to clean away dirt?

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention then turning the door handle with your clean hands & assuming the person before you washed their hands, brrr!

10:25 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

In public bogs, I always raise the seat of the lav with the tip of my shoe and then flush in the same manner.

10:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I hover near the main door in the hope someone will come in and I won't have to touch the handle on the way out.

11:14 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Well if you don't bloody like it you know what you can do! Get a villa in Tuscany and drink wine as you write your first novel -meanwhile here in Yorkshire we will continue to be as happy as pigs in muck racing our whippets and pigeons as we scoff on big piles of Yorkshire puddings!

12:48 am  

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