Everyone is sprawled in the shade on a street corner just off the Capitole. Your flight isn’t leaving for another 9 hours, so you’re spending some time in the overbearingly hot city of Toulouse.
“Guys, I’m just going to pop into that McDonalds to use the bathroom.” You announce to the group, who rouse from their heat-induced delirium for a few seconds to acknowledge you.
However, two miles, two cathedrals (by the way, the Basilica of St. Sernin is well worth a visit, despite its lack of toilet facilities), one car park, one McDonalds (you looked on every floor!) and one metro station later, you return to the group without having achieved what you had set out to do.
The group decide to look for a cake shop to eat in and, due to the insidious quality of globalisation, you come across a second McDonalds restaurant within five minutes walk of the other.
Cue massive culture shock: the entrance to the bathroom is guarded by a man in a suit. France must be several notches above the UK on the scale of ‘fancy’ when a fast food joint dishing out cheap burgers and high-burnout minimum wage jobs has a suited guard on its bathroom. You have never seen a member of staff in a McDonalds wearing a suit, let alone a special bouncer for the bathroom. He immediately refuses you entry to Club Toilette de McDonalds.
“My friend is in the queue.” You say in poor French.
He doesn’t believe you. You point out your friend Hannah, who is posing as a customer in the queue, having placed herself there in case the bathroom bouncer confronted you. She waves obediently, and he waves you through.
The bathroom wasn’t even anything special: 6/10 stars.
For reference, the train station (not metro) bathrooms are 50c for entry and a fifteen minute walk away. There is also an island-type public bathroom along the main road near Esquirol metro station (no idea how much that costs). Happy searching!