IF restroom walls could talk, they would have been a rich source of gossip and information that would have filled huge volumes of books when recorded.
Restrooms are the places in department stores, schools and any other establishment where ladies (men, too) flock, stare in the mirror, brush their hair or retouch their makeup and exchange the latest gossip on almost any topic under the sun.
I don't know about the men's restrooms because I haven't dared visit one but in the ladies' restrooms, there is more talk and more women crowd the mirrors.
It is interesting to stay in the restroom if you want to keep up with the latest trends in clothes, makeup, cellphones, housekeeping tips and learn about whose dating who.
People rarely use the restrooms to answer the call of nature because few could dare to drop a hard round "log" on the bowl and spread the odor for all to smell.
I went to the restroom in a department store in Cotabato City one morning to relieve my kidneys but found a long line of women waiting for their turn. There were only two bathroom stalls and one was out of order. To add to that inconvenience, there was no water.
Oh sheesh! Talk about sacrifice.
I rushed through with my business when my turn came but soon found that the door would not open. I pulled the door but it refused to budge. I was trapped with the horrible smell. When I looked closely, I discovered that the direction of the door was outwards. I pushed the door with all my might and hit the face of the woman waiting for her turn. I hurried away after apologizing.
To answer the call of relief from my kidneys just recently, I excused myself from a press coverage in one of the establishments here in Davao city and sought the direction of the restroom.
It was not easy for there were countless branches in the corridors but luckily, I did find a restroom before making a mess of myself and wetting my pants.
It was obvious that the wing of the building was not used much and I had the whole restroom to myself. I felt uneasy and hurriedly completed my business. I was about to go out when I heard a girl enter the next stall and started talking to somebody in hushed tones.
The girl started giggling and I discovered that she was talking with somebody on her cellphone. She talked in a childish tone and asked whoever was on the other end of the phone to buy her a bracelet and change her cellphone with the latest model equipped with a camera.
The girl's voice was very familiar and without meaning too, I learned that she was involved in an illicit affair and she was talking to her lover.
Maybe the girl was thinking that she was using a private restroom or she may have thought that no one would use the restroom in that wing.
Afraid of being discovered that I learned too much, I stayed where I was and prayed that she (whoever she was) would go out soon because I was getting red in the face trying to stifle a cough.
With the poor airconditioning inside the restroom, sweat was already pouring from my forehead. It seemed like forever (if you consider 32 minutes as forever) before she finally bid goodbye, turned off her cellphone and went out of the stall.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I thought I was free at last but the girl still did not go out. She hummed to herself and stayed infront of the mirror.
When she finally went out of the restroom, only then was I able to release the cough I held. I went out after a few minutes and went back to the press briefing. Trapped for almost an hour in the restroom was not a pleasant experience and I got a hiccup for stifling my cough.
The next time you enter a public restroom, remember that the place is public and the walls have eyes and ears and can stifle coughs.