A “Footbath” by Any Other Name Is Still a Bidet


 (Pic–below– of bidet– compliments of Tumblr)

The Well-Traveled Wife  sent me a cute comment this week, on this blogsite  and I checked her website out….

She goes about, often, as her blog title predicts, visiting worldwide destinations, accompanying her husband. 

I guess, in a way, she’s like the Everywhereist…but different.

Lots of pictures…a short statement.  She and her husband look cute, and they appear to be people I’d enjoy knowing.

It got me to thinking:  How many of us have jobs and life experiences we truly LOVE?  It seems to me that traveling around the globe with your most favorite other person (your significant other/mate) might just about be as close to nirvana as anyone can get.

If you travel on someone else’s budget (like a company who’s hired the services of one of you), even better.

I didn’t have such freedom, earlier in life.  I traveled to the usual hotspot destinations for children because I had little ones—twice, as single parent.  And since I was a teacher, we got to go to those popular places when everyone else did—on school vacations.  That guaranteed we only ever saw approximately one fifth of the park offerings at any given time.

Then, too, money was always an issue.

So, the two trips we took to Europe were absolute stunners, burned into our memory for all time, tho’ one of us was too young to recall brilliant aspects of it (she was only 6!)

What does she recall?  A supposed “footbath” in France. 

I’d rented a car and had just driven hundreds of miles, in the French countryside.The landscape had a unique pre-World War II feel to it, meaning the roadways were devoid of billboards… rest areas… traveler comforts.

Just kilometer after kilometer of cows… sunflowers… trees.

At one point, in desperation, I pulled into a small village hotel, entered its foyer, and seeing no one about, I ducked into “la toilette” (I think the Canadiens say it this way.)

When I came out, I was met with a furious inn-keeper’s wild gesticulations.  She demanded to know why I used her facilities. I told her I had no choice…In my best Parisian French, I told her:  ”Il n’ya pas salles de bain?” (“There are no bathrooms.”)

She just about foamed at the mouth.

When I proceeded to leave, she screamed behind me:  “Les bois…Les bois,” pointing to the outside.  In other words, I should have used “The woods”…”the woods.”

Later in the day, we pulled into a small hotel some 200 kilometres further, on our journey, where I booked a room.  By this point, I was horribly sick.  I’d finally come down with something of a gastro-intestinal disorder. It made sense:  We’d been three weeks on the road, using Eurail passes, for much of the time, hauling our backpacks around (we each had one), in a mostly-different location each night. 

Now, we were driving through France, with me at the wheel.

Since we had no tour guide, nerves alone could have caused my illness.

I raced to the shared bathroom down the hall and limped back to our room where I flopped on one of the three beds.  That’s when I noted it. My younger daughter was playing around in a basin in the middle of the room.

I directed her to cease, immediately.

You see, she couldn’t know it then, but she was splashing about in a bidet.

Yep, the incongruities in France always amazed me.  A traveler wouldn’t necessarily find a toilet in his or her room or on backwoods, country roads…

But a bidet (“be-day” for you non-French) was always front and center…bidet

……….Even if my youngest believed it to be a footbath.

***Had your own incongruities of travel? (No toilette but a bidet?)  Share, if you dare…I’m listening….


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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