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Toilets in the Netherlands

August 2003, Nijmegen

I didn't want to write about the Dutch toilets last time I was in the Netherlands. Well, I'm back; and I can no longer ignore the issue.

Normally, it's good to accept a different culture at face value, and to seek fault as little as possible. The Dutch toilets are just crazy, though, and I still feel that way.

For those who haven't had the privelege of shitting in The Netherlands, allow me to describe. Instead of a bowl, you have a shelf. That's the simplest description. The shelf has a very shallow bowl-like aspect, and a low curved lip toward the front of the unit, where the flush-tube is.

So, you get to take a good look at your stool.

Then you flush the toilet. You'll find one of a diversity of methods, which is kind of charming. Handle, button, bar, panel, chain, rope, cord...? Tank above, tank behind, tank hidden in the architecture? There's no standard. Some toilets even have a bowl. But never mind those.

When you flush the real Dutch toilet, your stool is supposed to wash down that flush-tube at the front. It doesn't always do that, of course.

There should be a toilet brush. If there isn't, something's missing. The brush is not just for the occasional housecleaning toilet scrub. You have to brush that shelf. You might even have to sort of help push that turd down the flush, sometimes. I mean, you can't leave it there.

So the toilet-brush is soiled, sometimes badly.

I don't like Dutch toilets.

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