by Patricia Roop Hollinger
“Where’s your wife?” the tour guide asked my husband with angst in her voice.
“Why she is in the bathroom.” my husband replied. “The local tour guide told her she had 20 minutes before the next train pulled out of the station.”
“No, she doesn’t,” replied the tour guide with the yellow duck umbrella that we followed like goslings over the alps of Switzerland. “The train leaves in 4 minutes.”
As I unwrapped myself from the back brace I was wearing and began to lower my body onto the commode I heard someone shouting.
I wondered who that could be. The door opened again and the voice was now desperate as it called out.
I pulled up my garments and fled the bathroom hoping there was not a trail of paper behind me.
It was my desperate husband attempting to retrieve me from the bowels of the bathroom before the train left us to our own devices at the foothills of the Matterhorn.
The women waiting in line considered him to be a pervert and made every effort to direct him to the men’s bathroom, but he was not dissuaded. His wife was in the women’s bathroom and he needed her OUT of there ASAP.
You see we were on a Road Scholar train tour of Switzerland in August of this year. The trip consisted of 31 train trips, 12 buses, 3 boats, 6 hotels and 8 lectures. They had left minimal time for potty breaks.
The sights were awesome. Swiss cleanliness and promptness resonated with my own inherited German genetic makeup. Obesity was absent in a culture that hikes, walks and rides bikes with great frequency. I am still bemused by the fact that Switzerland is absent flies and other flying pests, thus the absence of screens on windows that allowed unfettered breezes into our rooms.
So, a word to any of you traveling on the Swiss Rails: drink less, potty before and after any need to catch the next train. It is true. Swiss trains are PROMPT!
Patricia Roop Hollinger is a newlywed of three years to a long-lost lover from over fifty years ago. She is a voracious reader, cat lover and lover of words and stories. Pat is also a licensed counselor by profession and currently giving of those services to Give an Hour.