February 8, 2008
According to Boingboing Finland will be opening up its toilets for texts. In other words, if you want to use one of the roadside bathrooms you’ll need to know Finnish or at least the word for open in that language to unlock the door. I see a few potential problems with this for foreign visitors. First of all when you check out a Finnish/English dictionary on-line and type in the word open eight different words pop up in Finnish. I hope you gave yourself a little time before it was mission critical to get in the doorway. I always make sure that when visiting a foreign country I know how to say, “where is the bathroom?” I guess I’ll have to expand my vocabulary. The biggest problem will arise if my phone doesn’t work overseas. Will they have special bathroom rental phones? Cellphones are sometimes useless when you travel abroad and when your legs are crossed in a moving vehicle it is not the time to find this out. Heck, even locals could have some problems with this system. I know that I for one have left my phone sitting at home on a charger by mistake. It could end up a fatal error if the need to relieve yourself arises. What if you don’t even own a cell phone? Should only people with phones be allowed to use the bathroom? I also have one more problem with this method. I don’t text. Yes, I know just about everyone else does but I don’t. The feature isn’t even activated on my phone so I can’t text or receive text messages and that’s the way I like it. I just find it impersonal and I hate cycling through three letters to get the one I want while the phone “smartly” puts together a word that isn’t what I was going for. My own little rebellion I guess. You won’t be get a tweet from me anytime soon.