Just like every other major European city, Amsterdam considers it a privilege to urinate. Restrooms are generally for paying customers only and even then they will often charge half a euro or more to use the facilities. I understand the need. Businesses can’t have a steady stream of tourists popping in just to use the toilet, cluttering up the aisles, and not purchasing anything. I get it. I truly do.
Because of this, most major municipalities in Europe have provided those of us who need to pee with public options. Many major cities have “full service” pay toilets that cater to men and women for a small fee. In Amsterdam, we have free public urinals. Now, by “we” I mean “men”. I have no idea what the ladies are expected to do…
Now, as you can see, these toilets are a bit unsightly and only serve one person at a time. They are also almost completely unnecessary for most of the day, as they are most frequently used by the late night bar crowd. To solve this problem, the Dutch decided to utilize their old friend technology. From the very beginning, ingenious uses of machinery have improved the state of Dutch life. In fact, much of what is now Holland was once the sea floor. The inventive Dutchies used their technological skills to catch the wind and use windmills to pump the sea water over the dykes freeing up much needed farm lands.
Today they are using technology to improve the peeing experience for one and all (except women). I now introduce you to the URILIFT!
This modern miracle is a public urinal that not only serves THREE people at one time, but can also be stored underground when not in use. It took me a while to actually see one of these in the wild, as they spend much of their time underground. As it turns out, there is a Urilift just a few meters away from my apartment in Rembrandtplein. I haven’t had the pleasure of using it yet, but it’s nice to know it’s there for you when you need it.
I mean, really, what will the Dutch think of next?