I have had more questions than insights lately, which means that this blog might give you a migraine in the upcoming days, if not weeks. After all, it is called Midnight musings of an overactive mind! I am sharing some of these questions with you in the hopes of gleaning insight into them – eventually – through discussions.
I was wondering about the state of public/shared areas the other day, and how people seem to treat public areas in ways they would never treat their own space. Need I remind anyone who has ever worked in an office of the sometimes absolutely disgusting state it’s left in? I didn’t think so.
Is this why in some places, you have to pay to use ‘public’ bathrooms? I will never forget how hilarious the concept seemed to me the first time I saw a paying public bathroom; I was a teenager, smugly superior in my constant analysis of a world I was planning to change.
“I have to PAY to use a public restroom?” the words poured out before I could control them. “No wonder the subway system reeks of urine!”
For those of you who have travelled, you probably have guessed I was in Paris when I said that.
The thought was still lingering at the back of my mind when I returned to Paris a few years later. I was a little bit older and a tiny bit wiser. This time, the thought was expressed by another traveler accompanying me on an afternoon jaunt in the Parisian jungle. And I still didn’t have an answer for her, because even paying public bathrooms are pretty gross, and I’m sure people do things in them that they wouldn’t do at home.
So, again – why do people mistreat public spaces so badly, and why doesn’t paying money to use them help keep it clean?