I hadn’t discovered blogging yet in June 2016 as Kathy and I were cruising down the Danube from Nurenburg to Budapest on the Viking Alta, but I still occasionally wrote things down for my own amusement. I found one sight at our third stop particularly inspiring. I came across the record in my leisure and travel folder while looking for something else and thought it was worth sharing. A good break from coronavirus. Here’s what I wrote:
Travel does broaden one, and its not just all the beer and nonstop eating. Sometimes you get a glimpse into another culture’s approach to some mundane aspect of daily life that takes your breath away. This afternoon, taking a break from the 95 degree heat at Lugeck cafe on Gutenberg Square in Vienna, just north of St. Stephan’s cathedral, that first half liter of beer got me climbing the stairs to the room for Herren, where I beheld one of the most amazing sights I can recall from my not-so-young life. There, in gleaming stainless steel stretching from 2/3ds up the wall to a trough below floor level, protected by a screen was a modern urinal that combined the traits of the sadly missed (but never missed) long metal troughs that used to be featured in Michigan Stadium’s men’s rooms and the old fashioned, rapidly disappearing all-way-to-the-floor porcelain numbers so much more satisfying to use than the little hung on the wall buckets that are replacing them. Perhaps this ultra-modern item with such heartening throwback features will catch on in the US. If I was building a new restaurant, I know I’d install ’em.