Potty talk

Our trip to East Java and Bali was not only full of cultural, ecological and culinary marvels; it also offered numerous excellent bathroom signs, which you may remember are a particular interest of mine.


This one was on the Surabaya-Probolinggo bus (Dangdut Bus 1). It says “Sorry! Only for pee.” No doubt this was because the toilet was perched over a hole in the bus floor and the bus company felt there were limits to how much it could foul the roadways of East Java.


I really like this one. It was painted on the wall of the train station across from the Margo Utomo plantation in Kalibaru, and it says “No Peeing Here Except Dogs.” That’s rather sly, because in Indonesia calling someone a dog is an extremely grave insult.

This last one is a pricing chart from a bathroom at a Hindu temple complex in Bali. In Indonesian, pee is “little water” (air kecil) and poop is “big water” (air besar). Apparently they couldn’t find an appropriate term for solid waste in English, so they decorously left that part blank.