The Bundlings Restroom Scale


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Over many years of travel, we've developed our very own Bundlings Restroom Scale. Originally a six-point scale, it expanded to ten points after a trip to Japan. Although different items on the list have varying degrees of importance, each is worth exactly one point on our scale to avoid difficult math.

While we prefer a seven-point restroom, we'll settle for 3 - 4 points. We've encountered a one-star restroom at the Great Wall of China, and a very unfortunate zero-point restroom at the Mumbai airport. We had to return to Kyoto, land of the first ten-point restroom we've encountered, because it was so nice to use the public restrooms there.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to present the Bundlings 10-Point Restroom Scale:

  1. Western-style toilet (no point for squat-style toilet)
  2. Toilet flushes
  3. Toilet paper
  4. Running water in sink
  5. Soap
  6. Paper towels or hand dryer
  7. Clean floor
  8. Bidet
  9. Posterior washer
  10. Heated seat

We'll share with you some restrooms that actually inspired us to photograph them and we'll spare you the ones where we were so disgusted we didn't want to expose our camera to the filth.

This was our toilet in the Hotel Nikko Kansei Airport in Osaka, Japan that introduced us to points 8 through 10 on our scale. However, hotel bathrooms are not subject to grading on the Bundlings Restroom Scale as they are expected to always be a minimum of 7 points.
The first 10-point restroom we ever encountered in the wild was at the base of the Kyoto Tower. Check it out on the second floor if you're ever there.
This toilet in Dubrovnik, Croatia was only the second squat-style toilet Debbie had ever encountered (the first was in India), but it was the first clean one. It was sparkling clean and scored a full six points back when the BRS did not take into consideration point number 1 -- style of toilet -- because we had not yet spent time in China and Japan.
This toilet is mine, all mine. It is the one I swore I would have when I first spied the toilet in the Hotel Nikko Kansei Airport. After visits from an electrician, a plumber, and a UPS driver, this gorgeous thing is all mine -- an early birthday gift to myself in November 2008. Ten points, baby. Ten points.

The Bundlings Restroom Scale does not take into consideration the following niceties, because scoring something on a 10-point scale as higher than 10 points is equivalent to the phrase "giving 110%," which is just stupid.

This restroom in Dominica did not have soap but did have a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers.
Blossoms and shells are also a nice touch (as seen in Huahine), ...
... and a combination of both is even better. Tahiti really knows how to decorate a restroom.
Many Japanese public toilets include a button to play flushing sounds to cover up any noises you may wish to conceal. While waiting at one restroom in a Japanese mall, every one of the four stalls was playing electronic flushing sounds.
Here's an awesome Japanese hand dryer. Just insert your hands in the slot and lights come on and and blowing air starts up. It's all very space-age and your hands are dry in no time. We're seeing a lot of Tyson Blade dryers these days, which are equally awesome.
Not all restrooms can be located 9600 feet above sea level and have a view of the Alps this magnificent, but this restroom at the Trockener Steg cable car station in Zermatt, Switzerland does.
This open-air restroom on Livingstone Island in Zambia faces the Zambezi River and the mist generated by Victoria Falls, so it is aptly dubbed, the "Loo with a View." We didn't have time to use it, so we weren't able to assess the total point value.
Here is a self-washing toilet in action: the oval-shaped bowl slowly rotates while the blue thing cleans and wipes the seat. Spotted in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.

When necessary, partial points may be deducted from the total score.

The Bundlings Restroom Scale does not give points for toilet seat, because this an expected part of the point awarded for the Western-style toilet. Therefore, a toilet seat consisting of two narrow pieces of plexiglass screwed to the toilet will deduct 1/2 point from the total score, such as this one in Liechtenstein.

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