Clean Bathrooms | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Clean Bathrooms

Walk into any Safeway supermarket or Rodeo Drive boutique and ask to use the bathroom.

Right. Not a chance. The US of A is bathroom-unfriendly. A sign at a hot dog joint on Venice Beach says “Restrooms For Customers Only.” What a pinched, miserly attitude. I wouldn’t want to be the customer of a business like that. If they’re stingy on the output, they’re probably stingy with the input, too.

Mexico with bad water and lots of children has a more generous approach. I love it that here I don’t have to worry about the next pit stop. There’s always one nearby, and all are welcome to use it. I ask shopkeepers “¿Hay baños?” Usually the answer is “Si. ¿Como no?”

For some reason, many parking garages have public restrooms. And you don’t have to park your car to park your butt. Mexicans understand: When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.


Public restrooms may not always be as clean as advertised, but there are times when that doesn’t really matter. You can walk through Mexico City’s Centro Historico and there’ll be signs inviting you to use the facilities, however shabby. Try just finding a public lavatory in Manhattan, even a grimy one.

There are so many nice things about this country.