Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007:
Away from Helsingborg for two weeks...

What I think:

Tomorrow morning, my girlfriend and I will be off on holiday for two weeks. We'll be staying with mates in London, then jetting off to Montreal, my home town, on Friday.

Coincidentally, a mate of mine from the UK will be coming to Helsingborg tomorrow. Good result; he gets a free place to stay, and I get someone to look after my flat (US/CAN: apartment, or perhaps condo, since it's bought) and feed my cat while we're away.

Here's what he looks like:
I feel totally confident.

Actually, that photo was taken during a rather long and tedious night out for him, so we can excuse his demeanour on that evening. He's usually slightly livelier than that.

We'll be away until July 6th, and I can't guarantee any blogging during this period of absence.

In the meantime, feel free to educate yourself with the A-to-Z of Helsingborg. Or have you seen the latest Top Toilet Tips yet?

And whatever it is that you decide to do, don't do anything the Swedish government might do something about.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007.
Top Toilet Tips:
Pubs in Helsingborg -
Part Four: PL13

What I think:

I went to one of Helsingborg's smallest, but coolest (in my opinion), bars the other night - PL13. It's located right across the street from The House of Pain (where I had my tattoos done), Tim's Haircut (where I had my most expensive haircut ever - same post), and the Telegrafen pub (which I visited here and here).

I've actually mentioned PL13 a couple of times before (once here, and again here); the music and the atmosphere are good, and the beer is above-average, with slightly below-average prices, for in-town pubs anyway.
It's worth going there if you're into music like The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Ramones, The Smiths, Kraftwerk, Placebo, and music of that genre and/or era. Most other pubs seem to play the worst of the past few decades' crap. And asking them if they can put on something else is not unlike asking them why their mothers didn't consider abortion to be the wisest option.

I just remembered, the time before I went to PL13 the other night, I was with a friend from England - after having visited the Bishops Arms (see Part Three of this series) - something a bit creepy happened. There was some bloke there, looking a bit out of place in his suit (although, to be fair, he may have come after work, or from some formal occasion), and he said that he reads my blog.

Now, that in itself is, of course, decidedly not creepy. In fact, I'd say it's flattering. But he said that he'd been reading it since it began, and knows much of it inside-out - he went as far as to actually quote some bits. That freaked me out a little, for some reason.

But this is undoubtedly just me being paranoid; it's not like he's stalking me or anything, and I really should be thankful for having such a devoted reader here in town.

So, at this point, I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, and extend a warm greeting to someone who may well be my Number One Fan in Helsingborg (OK, maybe Badlands is just as much of a fan, as he claims to check my blog every day, but I've actually known him for a good few years, and I think that he just says that so he'll get a mention in this blog, which he already has done here and here, the selfish bastard).

On to the toilet at PL13, then...

How to get there:
It's such a small place that it's not so difficult a journey. When you come in, simply follow the left-hand curve of the bar towards the back. Voilà.

On the wall just outside the toilet door, there's a big picture of Morrissey from The Smiths.
Here's a photo of me & Morrissey,
Pondering life's idiosyncrasies
(I never expected this to rhyme
But it did...errm...something-something lime):

To the right of where I'm standing in the (highly artistic Photoshop'd) photo above, is the door to the toilet (US/CAN: bathroom) itself.

You can't miss it; it's got a photo of The Ramones on it, and the doorknob is Joey Ramone's head. Or Joey Ramone's head is a doorknob, depending on how you want to look at it.

I honestly don't know if there was an attempt at some kind of statement with this,
but it's probably best not to go there.

Once inside, the toilet itself is on the left, and it looks like this:

The cool little armrests on the sides, as well as the size of the toilet area itself, mean that it's a wheelchair-friendly facility. Actually, I forgot to mention that there's a ramp on the few steps leading up to the bar's entrance, as well. Very thoughtful, PL13!

One slightly annoying feature of this lavatory is the laminated poster of Morrissey on the inner side of the door. It shows him with his most wistfully melancholic expression; gazing off into the distance above the toilet, with a single near-perfect teardrop oozing out of his left eye. Oh boo-hoo.

Perhaps there was one too many customers laying real lingering stinkers, or floaters that refused to go away regardless of the number of flushes administered. Who knows? I guess one of the prices you pay for being a singer of depressing lyrics in the 80's is the possibility of ending up smelling turds from a WC door in Helsingborg. A lesson learned.

In summary, PL13 is a cool place, but one toilet is clearly not enough, and although the bar is to be commended on its efforts to ensure that disabled punters (US/CAN: customers) can drink there, having Morrissey crying at you whilst you pee is a troubling experience.

It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.

See also:
Part One: Charles Dickens ->
Part Two: Hamnkrogen ->
Part Three: The Bishops Arms ->

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007:
Top Toilet Tips:
Pubs in Helsingborg -
Part Three: The Bishops Arms

What I think:

For the third part of this series, I took a walk to The Bishops Arms last Friday evening. I was with a friend who was visiting from England. We'd just been to the Charles Dickens for a couple of beers there, when I decided that it was time to go elsewhere to take a closer look at another pub's facilities. The Bishops Arms (or simply "Bishops", as it's more commonly known) is located very centrally. It's a pretty nice place to go for a few beers, although it's fairly pricey; a decent pint costs around 55 Kronor (US$7.90/£4.00/€5.90).

Having said that, the selection of draft lagers
they have is the best in town:
And For the homesick Brit,
or the locals or tourists who have yet to visit the UK,
they also have a few decent ales in the pipes as well.
And if whisky's your thing,
you won't be disappointed here.
All this liquid make me want to go to the toilet.
Don't be shy, come along with me.

How to get to the toilets:
When you enter the pub, you're soon met with a staircase on your left; it's a basement pub. At the bottom of the stairs, veer a bit towards your right - towards the bar - otherwise you'll bump into some chairs or a table. When you're facing the bar, turn left and walk past the little raised seating area, now also to your left. The door to the little toilet corridor is the last one on your right.

The door on the left-hand side of the photo above is the one you'll walk through. The signs leave you in little doubt as to which toilet you should use.

Ladies first:


Cute, eh?

Unfortunately, behind each of these doors, we find just a small room, suitable for only one person's relief at a time. Pretty bog standard, so to speak.Although Bishops has gender-allocated facilities, this fact is largely ignored depending on the situation. If you're a bloke and you see that the Gents is occupied, and there's no one else waiting, you go to the Ladies. It's just how it is here (have they no shame?). Makes sense to me.

Tip: There's another (unmarked) door, to the right of the Gents, through which you'll find the "disabled" toilet. I don't mean that the toilet doesn't work; it's actually meant for disabled people (or "mobility-restricted", or "physically challenged", or whatever the current politically correct term is these days).

This toilet's often vacant, unless it's a busy night.
And it's big.

That's just about it for the toilets.

During the summer (all 26 days of it), they also have a terrace, with two sections, at the side of the building.

It's quite nice to sit out there on a warm evening.

It was warm enough to sit there last Friday evening when my mate was visiting, so we did.

Here's an artist's impression of my English friend
sitting across from me outside The Bishops Arms:

But wait - that's not all. To the right of the British bloke (or to his left, actually), there's an odd-looking little booth there. It looks like this:

Guys, you may pee inside there; it's a urinal.

Girls, I'm sure you're welcome there as well, but there's no toilet paper in there, so you may want to bring your own. I can't imagine that it's terribly very hygenic for you to go in there, though. And there's nowhere to dispose of your toilet paper either. Not really fair, is it?

Plus, if you're short, your feet may dangle, and you will need a good sense of balance.

Not recommended after a couple of pints of Bishops Finger (I never fancied the idea of trying Bishops Finger; you don't know where it's been, do you?).

I think that outdoor toilet facilities (like urinals) should be made low enough so that shorter girls can access them without risking their lives and/or dignity, and there should be some little bins available for the disposal of toilet paper. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.

See also:
Part One: Charles Dickens ->
Part Two: Hamnkrogen ->