I had to pay €4 to use a toilet on King’s Day — and I’m pissed

Where's my spare 🍆?

Listen, I know that there are worse things in the world, but let me rant for a second. If you’re a woman in Amsterdam with a full bladder, good luck.

And if you’re a woman with a full bladder on King’s Day, prepare to get swindled.

Ok, let’s set the scene

I’ve just left a friend’s house. There’s a big group of us, I’m four drinks deep, and we have a thirty-minute journey ahead of us.

Naturally, about 10 minutes in, the need to pee hits a few of us.

For the men in the group, the solution was simple — they could saunter up to one of the hundreds of urinals the city had set up for them and relieve themselves.

For those of us without a penis, however, it was a dilemma.

After a few minutes of hunting, we found our oasis in the desert: someone had opened up their garage-turned-art-studio and was offering up their toilet.

But, of course, it was going to cost us €4 per person to use it. €5 if we also bought a drink.

While we made sure to haggle the price down to €4 for both the use of the toilet and the drink, I still felt cheated.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #36: Charge people for public toilets

Regardless of whether or not we took a drink, our innocent bathroom break left me faced with a random man holding a €16 Tikkie request (I was paying for four of us).

No penis? We can charge you

When my friend told this man that she thought €4 was too much to be charging to use his toilet, he shrugged and said, “I think it’s reasonable.”

And it could be seen that way. There were many other people offering their toilets for a casual €4, so that seems to have been the average King’s-Day-piss rate.

In fact, I even saw one person charging €6 for the use of their toilet — so we had a good deal, right?

Well, no. Why can’t I pee for free like men?

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #35: Put public urinals in the middle of busy streets

I’m not alone in facing this issue. Women have been calling out cities across the Netherlands for their lack of female-friendly public toilets, Amsterdam specifically.

A win for urination equality — kind of

Thankfully, I’m not the only woman to be slightly pissed by the lack of public spaces for me to, well, piss.

In 2015, one Dutch student, Geerte Piening, was faced with a dilemma that almost every woman in Amsterdam has experienced: she had to pee, but there was no public space open for her to go.

She was left with no option but to squat in an alley and was slapped with a €140 fine as a result.

Instead of coughing up the cash, Piening decided to take her case to the court. After all, what was she supposed to do? Grow a third leg?

Technically, this was the court’s answer to the issue: with the judge ruling that her fine was justified because she should have just gone in a male urinal.

READ MORE | Why are there no public bathrooms in the Netherlands?

So yes, she just needed to whip out her penis — because how else is a woman meant to use a urinal?

The court’s findings didn’t have the desired effect, with women taking to the streets of Amsterdam to protest by, among other things, urinating en masse.

Women! We’re getting toilets!

While the judge didn’t rule in Piening’s favour, the absolute chaos that followed the ruling has led to a win for women.

This month, the city of Amsterdam finally agreed to offer more women-friendly public toilets, announcing that they would invest €4 million in creating more public toilets for those of us who lack a penis.

In fact, we can expect to see the first of these new toilets cropping up across the city before the end of this year.

All I’ll say is this, go piss girl.

@justjustins xoxo #gossipgirl #meme #gopissgirl #gosipgirl #decor #bathroom #blairwaldorf #threewords #xoxo #foryou #fyp #fürdich #joke #funny ♬ original sound – Max

You may be thinking, ok, but is this really that big of a deal?

Stand alone, no. It’s fine, I’ll pay the goddamn €4 if I have to.

But for many women, a lack of public toilets is just one of the many niggling annoyances that wouldn’t exist if the world wasn’t built for men.

And that’s why we’re pissed.

Have you experienced this issue before? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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  1. There are clean public toilets in Paris for 1.5 euros. I was there a year ago. 4 euros is extortion. Maybe 2 would be OK with inflation.


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