I heard it once said that a useful rule of thumb in determining how clean is the kitchen of any particular restaurant is to check out its toilet. The reasoning goes that if the facility is particular about the condition of the "dirtiest" room, it will certainly maintain high standards for its kitchen. This makes sense to me, but not having entered many restaurant kitchens I am not sure how valid this assumption may be. I have, however, used many toilets in restaurants, hotels and other public places, and almost never have I come across two that are exactly alike. Most of them are nothing to write home about, many I have successfully purged out of my memory, but there have been a few that truly stick out. Entering an opulent toilet room in a luxurious Vegas or Hawaii resort can make you feel like you are actually staying there. Toilets are definitely not to be underestimated, and "Toilets of the World" brings some of the most fascinating ones to our attention.
The authors of this beautiful small book have taken pains to collect images of toilet from almost every corner of the World. The book contains images and descriptions of toilets from every continent and all sorts of settings - urban, rural, beachside, deep woods, high mountains, etc. The pictures of the toilets are as fascinating and intriguing as the ones found in any travel or architecture book. The short snippets or stories that accompany them are informative and educational. It is really interesting how much we can learn about culture or history of a given place by studying its toilets. For instance, the segregated South African toilet is an especially poignant reminder of the basic inhumanity of Apartheid. Making a distinction between human beings even when it came down to the most basic bodily functions is as clear of an indication of the fundamental perversion of that system as they come.
This is an entertaining and informative book that is very tastefully put together. It will provide you with a new appreciation for one of the least glamourous and yet most important of all rooms.