Photo Story: Water Closet


Photo Name: Water Closet

When: September, 2011

Where: Milan, Italy

Story behind:

This photo was taken in Italy train that I took from Milano Malpensa airport to Milano Centrale railway station. It was my first arrival to Italy and also to Europe. I was curious what WC was and what WC stood for. I saw people went in and out the room. I guessed that it was a toilet, but I was not sure. And, I was not sure if I was allowed to go in.

Few days later, I joined a discussion in the university. In this discussion, not only students and teachers took part in, but also the officers. We talked about culture. I was in the same group with one officer. She was an Italian. We did a test together. In the test, there was one question mentioning about chopstick. She, then, asked me what the chopstick was. And, I was surprised that she did not know chopstick. I immediately started understanding the cultural difference. At that time, I already knew that WC was a toilet, but I still did not know what WC stood for. Then, I asked her back about this. And she told me that she also did not know either.

After that, while traveling in Europe. I kept seeing “WC” signs in many countries. Well, I finally knew that WC stood for Water Closet. It referred to toilet. This term is used because once it was considered rude to use the word “toilet”.


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