I had to be in Malmö for a mid-afternoon eye doctor’s appointment today, so I left my office shortly after lunch for the commute home. In hindsight, I probably should have bitten the bullet and just used the (typically disgusting) toilet on the train, but I actually didn’t realize how bad I had to wizz until after it arrived in Malmö.
I had about half hour before I needed to be at the doctor’s office, which wasn’t enough time to swing by The Penthouse Nordic (a 10 minute walk away), so I decided to shell out the 5 Swedish crowns (about 80 cents US) required to use the toilets at the train station.
Now pay toilets are a pet peeve of mine to begin with, but pay toilets in publicly-funded buildings really piss me off (pun very much intended). Consequently, I can count the number of times I’ve used the restroom at Malmö C on one hand despite the fact that I’ve been passing through the station twice a day, 5 days a week, for the last 7 years.
But I needed to go, and the facilities at Malmö C are actually staffed around the clock and always immaculate, so I headed that way. But when I got there I discovered that the entry fee had DOUBLED since the last time I’d used them, meaning the price of a pee at Malmö C is now $1.60! WTF?!
There was NO friggin’ WAY I was going to pay that much, so I immediately began plotting other options that would not take me too far off my route to the eye doctor. (I didn’t think I could make it all the way there before going.) My first thought was the hotel right across the street from the station…I’d been there for a business meeting earlier in the week and figured I could find the lobby restroom pretty quickly and easily. But as I approached I could see that the lobby was completely empty and there was a good chance of drawing the attention of the front desk staff when I walked in.
By now my bladder was screaming at me, so I race-walked another two blocks and dodged into a coffee shop on the main square, used the customer-only toilet, and then happily paid 35 Swedish crowns (almost $4 bucks) for the small latte that granted me that status. That’s right, I laid out three and a-half times as much as I would have to use the facilities at Malmö C, but it was fika time and I got a coffee out of the deal.
Besides, sometimes principles can be pricey.