Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lithuanian Public Restrooms

One of the strange facts of Lithuania is that the public restrooms often have blue lights in them.  What I mean is, the overhead lighting has blue bulbs.  Everything is covered in strange blue light.  I asked Matt, one of the team leaders here, why that was.  He said he didn't know.  But one of the Lithuanians told him it was "because of drugs."  We are not sure what this means but we spent some time brainstorming possibilities, which was entertaining.

Another interesting thing to note is that the women who clean the bathrooms just walk right in and do whatever it is they need to do.  While I was washing my hands she just walked in and started taking out the garbage.  Several of the guys shared how they found this disconcerting at first but now they can "do what needs to be done" without thinking about it too much.  There is some concern that upon returning to America that bathrooms will be closed for cleaning when they need to go.  

Also, on the way out of the restroom at the mall we saw a cleaning lady carrying a ten-gallon water jug full of what appeared to be milk.  I asked Matt what this might be and he shrugged and said he had no idea.  So there's really a lot to learn on this topic still.

4 comments:

  1. Matt, I met you in East Asian eons ago and found your blog recently. Blue lights are so that heroin users can't see their veins and thus can't shoot up in the bathrooms. Hope that sheds some light (no pun intended :)

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  2. Anonymous4:57 PM

    Kmart phobia - I see a theme developing here. First Code Blue, then Blue lights in the restrooms. So, will this develop into a phobia that a security guard will detain you in a Kmart restroom? (Blue light special on isle 4!)

    RJR

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  3. So many comments on this post.

    1. I thought the blue lights might be to hide grime. The veins thing makes way more sense tho.

    2. We don't have the women in the men's bathroom problem here in India since generally the bathrooms aren't cleaned. I have occasionally noticed "peep holes" in some of the walls of "restrooms" along the highway. There has even been an eye peeping once or twice. Definitely disconcerting.

    3. Now the white milk stuff in the jug - I knew what that was immediately. We call it phynoil over here in India and it is a cleaning solution for bathrooms or floors. When mixed with water it turns milky white. They probably dilute the solution themselves and that's what you saw.

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  4. Manna3:30 PM

    Rebecca is correct on her last last statement, but misspelled the chemical's name. It's spelled Phenol and on its own is colorless but they add white or sometimes yellow to it for safety.

    I found a wikipedia article on the chemical:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenol

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