Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trip Recap, Part 6

Still in Zurich...

It's funny how some individuals have problems with certain things.  Maybe you are squeamish about small birds; maybe you are scared of heights; maybe you are unable to use a cork screw; maybe you have problems opening and closing locks...well, European locks at any rate.

Imagine having meandered around Zurich, stopping here and there, checking out the scene, withdrawing funds from Swiss bank accounts, when suddenly, deep within the Zurich University Botanical Gardens, an urge to micturate overcomes you.  Naturally, you would seek out the facilities, which, in our lucky case, happened to be dead ahead of us.

So, my traveling companion heads straight for the small building which appeared to house toilets.  There were three doors.  Suddenly, I had flashbacks to Monty Hall's Let's Make Deal.  Will she take door number one, door number two, or door number three?

First, she heads of door number one and either pushes it or pulls it, but the door doesn't move.  She moves on to door number two and either pushes it or pulls it, but the door doesn't move.  Note that she either pushed or pulled, rather than attempting both directions.  I was standing back, admiring the view of the city, as the gardens are raised and one got a rather good view of Zurich.  The third door had a set of keys dangling provocatively in the lock. I hadn't noticed this until I turned to see C. turning the key in the lock, back and forth, round and round.

Of course, I had seen these lock manoeuvrings during our stay in Paris, at the impossibly small apartment.  I neglected to mention that the door to that apartment had three locks.  My companion, I realized, is European-lock-challenged.  North American locks seem to pose no problems.  It's the turn-left-two-and-a-quarter-turn type of lock that seems most confounding.

Suddenly, we hear banging and clanging and panicked screams from the inside.  Within a few short seconds, she had managed to lock a workman in his office and was unable to unlock the door.  I imagined that the Swiss gentleman must have been worrying that we were locking him in so that we could make off with various botanical samples, or worse.

I hurried over the scene, and freed the man, who looked completely stunned after having been confined to his office by two strange Canadians.  His expression suggested that he needed an explanation, and my companion tried to comply, but then he looked decidedly non-impressed.  I suppressed the urge to tell him that this is what happens when you leave you keys in the lock, but I was afraid of being expelled from Switzerland.  He removed the keys from the lock and went back into his office.  I hope he learned his lesson.

After rescuing the man, I wandered over and pushed or pulled on the door (you know, like tried both directions) of what appeared to be the female can and it opened.  With her bladder empty, we were able to continue on through the foliage.


Kate said...

I can relate, although my time locked in an Italian bathroom stall was mostly due to a broken lock. Sadly, I almost locked myself into other stall after that with working, but confusing (to me) European locks.

tweetey30 said...

I have to admit I have never been out of the country and used anothers bathroom so yes i would probably lock myself in or out...LOL..

S.M. Elliott said...

Now that's a culture shock I wouldn't have anticipated at all; good to know.
Enjoy some of that yummy Swiss chocolate for me, eh?