Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just a faucet?


Our typical intercity drive often has us spending oodles of hours on the 401. Canada's busiest highway cuts through Ontario from Windsor all the way to the Quebec border just east of Cornwall. All in all, it's a shade under 500 miles or 800 km long.

We've come to know this highway well in the years since we moved to London. It's the route we take to visit family back in Montreal, and in the dozens of times we've driven it, it's not a stretch to say that we've likely memorized every exit, curve, and geographic feature.

On our way home recently, we stopped in Belleville for a much-needed break. We parked beside the Quinte Mall - which despite the fact that it looks like any other indoor mall on the planet, is nevertheless a welcome refuge on a long, boring drive - and headed for the food court.

Little people have little constitutions. So we found the family washroom and were blown away by the pristine cleanliness, comfy chairs, lovely music and overall coziness of what is usually a disgusting facility that is ignored by management and reviled by those of us who care about such things. This place was different: we could have stayed there all night.

While the kids raved about how cool this loo was, I concentrated on the faucet and tried to get photographically artsy with it. This is a longer-than-handheld, flashless exposure, using the counter as a makeshift tripod. It may look plain. But it will forever take me back to a 10-minute slice during which my kids happily unwound with each other in a surprisingly warm place far from home, and I got to watch them be themselves.

Lucky me.

32 comments:

utenzi said...

Michele sent me up North to see you, Carmi.

I've only been on that highway a few times. The longest drive was when I crossed over into Canada near Watertown NY, just east of Lake Ontario, and then left Canada near Sault St Marie (or something like that) and exited into the deep woods of Northern Michigan. I was going from where I was working at the time in Northern NY to where my brother was getting married in Minnesota.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This place sounds amazing! Who are the people in charge??? And, I would want to write and tell them how much their "care" was appreciated! Do I ever know what you mean about these ghastly bathrooms...I guess they al, (except for this one) ever heard the phrase, Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness!!!(lol) BEAUTIFUL FAUCET!!! Where is this place, again??? To far away to go there just to see the loo?

David said...

michele sent me I think, but
mental instabilty was a contributing factor!

Mellie Helen said...

When a restaurant or other business has a clean restroom, I always feel much better about the place overall. When they care about the details, that shows care and respect for their customers. And that wins them repeat business. Even if the business is, um, that kind of "business".

Hey, congrats on the quote in eWeek! Whoo-hoo!!

Charles (Canadian in Hong Kong) said...

Very cool... I take pics like that all the time. No flash + a timer often = fantastic photos. I remember that strip of highway all too well... I went to Trent U and spent many hours traipsing back and forth on the 401.

Tammy said...

A clean restroom? How strange!

Cool picture, btw. :)

Janet said...

Wow a pristine bathroom found near the food court of a mall? Once again, another thing Canadians do better than Americans.:)

phoenix said...

Just stopping by to say hi. I was beginning to think clean restrooms were a thing of the past!

Lucky you!

Pearl said...

How a management treats the washroom is the sort of detail that's really telling. Like Scorates said, he can learn more about a man in a few minutes of playing a game, that he could in hours of discussion, it's a quick measurement. When we went thru Europe, washrooms were so distinct. England had so many styles that you didn't know how to flush immediately. Belgium had terrible broken down things like truckstop washrooms you describe and France had these lovely clean ones.

Oh, and lovely shot of the faucet.

I ahve another chocolate review post. Have you made a stop to your local chocolatier recently?

Plumkrazzee said...

I'm with OOLOH, I'd write a thank you note. But you probably know that already, huh? =)

TC said...

How nice to find a little oasis on your trip. I have gone on a lot of trips and I know what a rare thing a stop like that can be sometimes.

mar said...

you are lucky you don't drive in Southern Europe...Michele sent me this evening!

Plumkrazzee said...

Michele sent me this way...hope you're enjoying your Sunday.

maggie said...

Who'da thought that a picture of a public bathroom could look pristene?

Nice work!

Hi, I'm here via Michele's.

craziequeen said...

Hi Carmi - when is a tap not a tap - when it's a faucet!

Cool piccie - even cooler story :-)

Michele sent me

cq

Thumper said...

Heh...my criteria for Good Places To Be is how clean the restrooms are. And I know where every single really good one is in the immediate area, plus all the good ones on the Interstate from California to Ohio :)

Never underestimate the power of a really nice restroom...

kenju said...

Carmi, I marvel at how you can see the fascinating in what I would term mundane. Thanks for helping me see what I have been missing.

Michele sent me.

Aginoth said...

That's not a fauchet that's a tap ;o)

Michelle send me

Two nations seperated by a common language :oD

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Carmi..
Back again, via Michele...That facet still looks like the cleanest, nicest faucet, EVER!!! (lol)

Sandy said...

Here via Michele today.

What a great story. Sometimes it's the simple things that make the best memories for us.

YellowRose said...

Let me tell you something...NOTHING makes me happier than a clean bathroom in a public place!!! I understand your post very well!! Very cool pic btw!

Michele sent me... but I'd stop by anyhow! ;)

WendyWings said...

We had a new mall open by us a couple of years ago when our youngest was still a baby and it has the most wonderful "baby" rooms.
I love it :)

Michele sent me today.

WendyWings said...

Clean restrooms are a joy :)

margalit said...

Been on that highway myself way back when, but I don't remember any fancy bathrooms with photographical faucets.

I tagged you for a meme because I want to know more about you!

Michele...

srp said...

Thanks for visiting and the kind words. Facilities such as this are very rare and when found are usually in upscale department stores. This sounds more comfortable than ours at home.

Marisa said...

Hi Carmi. It's been a while.

Michele sent me today.

You captured the sentiment well, I think. Thanks for sharing the moment.

I will never look at a faucet the same way again.

Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

Hi Carmi, here via Michele's!
When I first saw this pic, I thought wow...Carmi keeps his bathroom really clean!
This is in a mall?! I'm impressed.
I know that stretch of highway well, and got myself a lovely speeding ticket last time, just outside Cornwall.

Sonia said...

Michele sent me to see you.
Glad I am here!

Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

Clean bathrooms are a new trend in customer service. Enough people have spoken that they are beginning to listen. I hope this trend continues.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hello again Carmi...
Nothing has dimmed the brightness and the beauty of that Faucet!!!
I love constancy, don't you?
Here from Guess Who's???
You got it! The Lovely Michele!

Sue Richards said...

Guess who sent me?

Calendar Girl from Guelph

Bhakti said...

hahahaha! This faucet photo just cracked me up for some reason! Oh, Lord, I think I need some help.... :)