Bathroom Scuffle in a Bus
June 24, 2006

Yesterday was a day when I had to revert to standing my ground.

It all took place at a bathroom in a bus station. I want to state that I am not proud of my behavior. But it happened. So I feel it’s only
right to share…

We had some time to kill in Pula before our overnight bus left. We already knew that we were going to spend this time at a café right
next to the station. We had reserved just enough kunas to do this. In the meantime, we just had to stop in to confirm our time of

While my sister was asking her questions to the people at the bus company, I noticed a ‘WC’ (i.e. a bathroom). One thing I have
learned in the past two months is that every time there is a bathroom handy, it should be used. This is
not the case when you have to
pay for the bathroom – those are the times reserved for urgency.

Since this looked like a decent facility, I decided to use it before heading over to the café. Keep in mind that the café would have a
bathroom, too. But since there was a bathroom right here, why not use it?

Upon leaving, there was a woman at the door that led to the bathrooms. This woman was not there when I walked in. When I went to
exit, she held her arm up to prevent me from leaving and began saying something to me in Croatian. My Croatian vocabulary that
consists of three or so words was unable to pick up anything she was saying to me. Then she pointed to a sign in the opposite direction
of the doors to the bathrooms. The sign was in Croatian. Underneath the Croatian, it said ‘3 Kn’. I was
now seeing that this was not a
free bathroom.

Here were my issues with this:

  1. I did not even need to use the bathroom. If I knew there was a cost, I would not have used it.
  2. I was going to a café a few minutes later that would have a bathroom. If I had known this was a facility I would have to pay for,
    I obviously would not have used it.
  3. If a bathroom is gong to charge someone, a person needs to be sitting at their post and doing their job. They need to collect the
    money prior so that the user understands that there is a price to pay.

I did not have money with me (as my sister was acting as my bank). If the woman was sitting there when I first came in, she could
have pointed to the sign (that was in an obscure location) and I would have then been denied access due to my deficit of kunas and
then I would have been on my way. But she was not there. And I just used the facility. And I had no kunas. I just used a service that
was a bit…um…impossible to give back.

She kept speaking her Croatian. I spoke my English. Neither of us could understand each other. This went on for several rounds.
Since it wasn’t going anywhere, I went to leave. She held her arm up. I tried to squeeze my way past her arm but she wouldn’t allow
it. She was trying to hold my arm. I finally had no choice. I used my Red Rover skills that I acquired back in elementary school. I
backed up a few feet and just rammed my way through the woman. Sometimes it’s just all about ‘survival of the fittest’. And in this
case, I turned out to be the fittest…
Back to Croatia.