Technicolor shithouse


There’s many things about daily life that tend to confuse people. UFOs, deja vu, why they always stand in the longest waiting line, stuff like that. Most of the times these experiences stem from a contradiction between expectations and reality. For example, if you buy a lighter at a tobacconist’s, you’d expect the question “what color?”, but not “with cheese?”.

So, when you enter a public toilet, you would not expect the lighting conditions to resemble an underground disco from the late 90’s, probably. That, however, is exactly what happened to me yesterday when I went to the toilet in a Burger King in the first district. Faint blue light that was barely bright enough to allow me not to bump into anything – to my disappointment, it wasn’t even black light, just a dimmed dark blue. Naturally, I took a picture. The setting was annoying, but I didn’t give it much thought, until later in the day.


This is how the interior of the customers’ toilet in the Alt Erlaa shopping mall (If you want to call it a mall, it’s actually just a small strip with some shops and a few restaurants) looks like. Amber color light that reflects as a sickish green-yellow on skin. Inside the toilet stalls, there’s no light whatsoever, so I had to use a lighter for the basic illumination needed to find the toilet paper. What’s even worse, while the blue light made me just feel annoyed, the yellow stuff created some ugly paranoia in me – felt like I was in the middle of some Half Life level, but without a crowbar.

Most of us probably have heard the story that blue light makes it harder for junkies to find their veins – which, according to this article by the German red cross, isn’t true – but the yellow light made no sense at all – if anything, I could see my veins more clearly in it. Does anyone have an explanation for this, or did someone witness other light colors somewhere? Maybe we could make a toilet rainbow.

1 Comment so far

  1. Horst (unregistered) on June 12th, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

    I think they just want to make sure you don’t stay inside that toilet even a second longer than you absolutely have to. At least that’s the effect this kind of lighting has on me.

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