Monday, March 09, 2009

Was That a Compliment?

Mrs S and I attended a work-related meeting not far from Hannover at the weekend. We set off on Friday afternoon as soon as possible, because we were having a social (= meal in a Mexican restaurant) with other delegates later that evening. I was going to pick up Mrs S from work as quickly as possible to begin the several-hour-long journey. But I ran out of time for various reasons; so much so that I forgot to do that last thing you always do before setting off on a car journey of uncertain duration. Yes, I forgot to go to the loo.

We set off on the motorway; traffic was heavy and weather atrocious; wind, rain and spray impairing visibility down to dangerously low levels. Then we had the not-so-good fortune of hitting plenty of road works. Time passed and I was getting increasingly desperate to relieve myself. There were no service stations, picnic areas or even protective vegetation, and I was getting really uncomfortable. There was nowhere I could pull over to let nature take its course. I was close to panic.

At last I saw signs saying there was a big service station with all facilities possible in 15 kilometres. Must make it, must make it, was my mantra for the remaining distance. It turned out to be one of those places with money-operated turnstiles to access the toilets. Luckily I had the required €0.50 on me.

Despite my discomfort I believe I had that slightly pathetic smile of relief on my face as I stood there, feeling the pain ease off gradually. When business was nearly finished I heard a loud voice from the next cubicle (in German), "That's what I call a bladder!" I tried desperately to control my laughter not to make a total mess in my cubicle. The old English expression "to spend a penny" should really in this case have been "to spend a pound". Never in my life did I imagine I would get a compliment for the size of my bladder!

Hannover receipts - sanifair


Protege said...

Hehe, I do not think women would say that to each other.;)) It makes for a great story though.;)

I love those places in Germany where you pay €0.50 to use the facilities, but you can redeem the money at the cashier by using it at the food court. This reminds me of vacation trips; everything is ALWAYS so clean and organized at those "Rastätte" places alongside the German highways.;))

oreneta said...

well congratulations, I guess!

swenglishexpat said...

Protege - They are veeery clean normally. I often use the cleanliness of the toilets as an indicator of the kitchen cleanliness! I've heard of people who even check out the toilets first before deciding to order food! ;-)

Oreneta - Well, thank you!

LadyFi said...

That's hilarious! And congrats on both holding it and then releasing your bladder!

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - Are we really having this conversation? I suppose I started it.... But thank you.

Diane said...

That made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of a long car trip I took when I was 8 months pregnant and the baby was sitting right on my bladder. I had to go SO badly and was in such pain... we were stuck in construction traffic... in the middle of nowhere (and I can't pee outside, even when I'm not pregnant). We FINALLY found a service station and there was SUCH a line (all the other women who'd been stuck in the construction traffic) but they were kind and allowed the ENORMOUS and pained-looking pregnant woman go first. Whew. If your neighbor had been in the stall next to me, he would have commented on my bladder, too ;)

GutsyWriter said...

Glad to hear it was your bladder and not the other. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hadn't heard from you, nor have I been a good visitor. Keep in touch

swenglishexpat said...

Diane - ...and pregnant! :-O Ouch! I can just imagine. Luckily one does not feel inclined to laugh in a situation like that, because that would spell disaster! ;-)

GW - Ha ha. No, none of that. I agree, it's difficult sometimes to keep up with blog reading. Like you said, stay in touch! :-)