it has happened several times now that i have opened a door or stall in a public bathroom only to find an embarrassed woman already inside there. then there is a whole string of phrases like "lo siento!" "perdon!" on my part.
at first i blamed myself. but now i have come to realize that it is not my fault. it is the fault of las mujeres.
the other day i went into the bathroom at a cafe and i pushed on the stall door only to have it bump into the woman inside and have her shout out "occupado!" of course, the first thing i thought was that the lock on the stall must be broken and this poor woman is the innocent victim of poor door design.
but oh no! that was not the case. when it was finally my turn and i entered the stall, i saw that there was in fact a lock on the door and it was fully functional. i even tried to force the door open once i had locked it, and it was impossible. i would've had to kick down the door like they do in the movies.
then, thinking back to my other bathroom encounters, i realized that all the bathrooms i had been in had locking stall doors. why would you choose not to lock the door in a public bathroom stall? i can understand if you're in the privacy of your own home, but in a cafe or restaurant? is this a cultural thing? i don't know, maybe it's just me, but being walked in on in the bathroom is definitely one of my top fears, right up there with spiders and death.
so women of buenos aires ... let me give you some advice. because as much as i love you portenas, i don't need to see your ass every time i have to pee. SO when you enter a bathroom stall:
1. check the door for one of those little metal bars or "locks" as we call them in english.
2. once the door is closed, slide the little metal bar from the door into the "locked position"
3. the door is now locked. you can pee in privacy