Welcome To EXCE-Loo

I was waiting for the shuttle bus when I decided I’d better use the bathroom before beginning the three hour hike to the foot of the Franz Josef glacier, so I stepped inside the shuttle booking office and asked to use their restroom. The clerk directed me to the public toilets across the street. They were pay toilets – 50 cents – but I didn’t mind. During my travels I’ve learned that pay toilets are always cleanest.

Exce-LOO pay toilet in Franz Josef New Zealand
Exce-LOO pay toilet in Franz Josef
Auto flushing toilet and spit shined interior in Franz Josef New Zealand
Auto flushing toilet and spit shined interior

I chose a stall that showed an unoccupied green light and inserted my 50-cent piece. The green metal door slid open with a whisper to reveal an immaculate ceramic tiled room with stainless steel stool and hand-washing unit. I was impressed. I stepped inside. Immediately, a voice came over the speaker with instructions: “Welcome to EXCE-Loo.” (‘Loo’ being British slang for toilet, mind you). “Please press the button to close the door. Your maximum usage time will be ten minutes.”

I pressed the button and the door slid shut. The moment I was sealed inside, piped music began playing ‘What the World Needs Now, Is Love Sweet Love.’ I laughed so hard I had to pee twice. On my right-hand side an automatic toilet paper dispenser spit out a tidy four squares every time I pressed its button. Having completed the business at hand I looked around for a way to flush the toilet but there was no handle. Instead, a sign instructed that the toilet would flush automatically when I either washed my hands or opened the door. I stuck my hands into the stainless steel box that was recessed into the wall – the far left squirted soap into my upturned palms, the middle ran water over my hands and the far right blew my hands dry. Now done, I pushed yet another button to open the door and exited as the unseen bathroom God exclaimed, “Thank you for using EXCE-Loo.”

Auto soap and water dispenser in the portable toilets in Franz Josef New Zealand
Auto soap and water dispenser

I laughed hysterically for a good 20 minutes after leaving the toilet. I wondered what would have happened if I’d taken more than my allotted ten minutes. Would the door have slid open, exposing my bare butt for all the world to see? I wondered if the local teenagers have figured out that they can insert $1.50 and have 30 minutes to ‘get it on.’ Honestly, what will they think of next? EXCE-Loo, for heaven sake?

4 thoughts on “Welcome To EXCE-Loo”

  1. This post is hilarious! I laughed so hard when you said: “I laughed so hard I had to pee twice.”

    The funny thing is that I took photos of a similar toilet in Dunedin, sans the music and entry fee! I rarely take pictures of bathrooms but couldn’t help but think about how this was an example of automation gone wrong – the toilet flushed three times while I was washing my hands, and then once again once I pressed the button to open the door!

    • My sentiments exactly, Nancy. None of it made much sense and I spent the entire time worrying that the door was going to automatically slide open while I was still on the toilet!

  2. Barb, I am cracking up! I can just see you, with that, “Can you BELIEVE this?!” look on your face! I’m sorry I wasn’t there to hear you laughing from inside. Continue to exercise your laughter!!

    Wishing you the best!

  3. Very humorous blog, indeed! You just made my day, Barb….it reminded me of our laughter at MBK.

    Take care..I bet you’ll encounter more EXCE-Loos ahead…


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