The Czech Republic
Orcel offers up the following observations based on his experiences traveling in The Czech Republic:
While traveling in Eastern Europe and most commonly in the Czech Republic I have noticed it is customary for a public men’s bathroom to be staffed by women.
These women often have a little desk or teller-type window behind which they sit, they collect bathroom fees (usually the equivalent of a fraction of a US penny) and are charged with maintaining and cleaning.
Although the desk is often situated more towards the entrance of the room, and not directly in line of site of each stall or urinal, this is merely to lull you into accepting the situation. For just as you muster up the courage to begin going, the women decide that they need to tidy up a bit. In one instance the attendant chose to sweep the floor exactly where I was standing.
It has been my observation that in these instances the proper etiquette would be to do everything you can to ignore the women and finish your business, wash up and get out quick. I base this on observation of westerners all of whom deploy this same strategy.
Of course asking the attendant to back off would be a very bad idea as they are almost always of the remarkably strong ugly grandmother type. You know the kind that are likely to pick you up and proceed to spank you for disrespect at the first sign of misconduct.
It is definitely bad etiquette to receive a spanking in the bathroom!
Jan responds with the following geography lesson:
Your website page regarding International Bathroom Etiquette / The Czech Republic implies that nation is located in Eastern Europe.
Czech friends never hesitate to point out that Prague sits well west of Vienna and only slightly east of Berlin. Identification of the Czech Republic with Eastern Europe is largely an artifact of that nation’s (largely reluctant) absorption into the ‘Soviet Bloc’ following the Second World War.
While the comment itself is not directly related to bathroom etiquette, it does serve as a useful indication that these matronly bathroom staffers are indeed a fixture of parts of Western Europe as well.