Paris is an easy city to walk about. Quite a bit of our weekend time is spent exploring mostly on foot. Now if you are out for sometime exploring the quartiers, stopping at cafes here and there, it’s likely at some point you will need a comfort stop.
The city administrators have thankfully had the good will to install toilettes on the pavements at regular convenient locations throughout the city. These grey spaceship-like installations called sanisettes are free to use and, in my limited experience, clean and very handy for urgent stops between cafes. However, it is wise to properly read the instructions that are written in multiple languages on the outside wall, even if in the case of pressing need you are tempted to just pop in.
I write with some authority on this because my dearly beloved has accidentally experienced the entire wash cycle from INSIDE the locked sanisette. On my questioning he has provided expert testimony as to exactly what happens – the toilet bowl tilts backwards into the wall emptying its contents somewhere hygienic and is scrubbed while the entire floor surface is vigorously flooded, thoroughly cleaning the sanisette ready for the next patron. As for just how much water is used to flood the floor surface? A lot. Enough to cover your shoes and dampen at least the bottom inch of your trousers. The expert says that if you were wearing jandals your feet would be wet but clean! My advice is to check that the green “ready” light is on before you enter. The sanisette is programmed to go through a complete wash cycle after each patron and there is quite a delay before it starts, so there is time to make the mistake of hastily popping in.
If you really want to know more just google sanisette.