Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bathroom Dilemma

Some of you know that I do most of my writing in coffee shops around Vancouver.  This is for a couple reasons.  First off, my job (the real one, speech pathologist) has me running all over town to see all my clients.  By the time I finally did get my office last year, I'd already made a name for myself as a speech path who does home visits, so all of my clients still want to be seen in their homes or at schools.  So, when I get a 3 hour break between clients (my schedule is STOOPID now that school has started up again), I just pop into the nearest cafe, open the lappy, and get working.  The other reason is more complex.  I CANNOT focus at home.  I do not know why.  I've always done my school work, real work, report writing, etc in cafes.  Something about the hustle and bustle around me helps me focus on whatever i'm doing.

Also, I'm addicted to coffee.  I guess that's a third reason. :)

Anyway, there are very few problems with writing in the cafe.  Apart from the occasional glare from a cafe manager who would like to preserve the "cafe culture" and hates seeing people with headphones and laptops all over the place.  I get it I get it, but really, get over it.

The biggest problem I face with my cafe-writing, is the bathroom dilemma.  I mean, after chugging down my large-dark-roast-for-here, I will need to pee.  It is just a fact of nature.  But, I have a whole little set up going on here.  My laptop, phone, and ipod are spread across the table, not to mention my workbag in the chair next to me that houses my wallet, car keys, work papers, and new sunglasses that David got me for my birthday.  Also, my second large-dark-roast-for-here is now sitting on the table too.

So.  How do I leave this to the mercy of the masses and go pee?  Usually, I ask someone nearby who looks trustworthy to watch it, but sometimes there isn't anyone nearby!  And really, how much do I trust my instinct on who's "trustworthy" or not?  Won't my luck in this respect run out eventually?

So, I wonder if readers will be able to tell at which points in my manuscript I was squeezing my legs together, trying to avoid having to pack up my whole operation just to retreat to the loo for 2 minutes.

Do any of you write in cafes?  If so, how do you handle the bathroom dilemma!?


  1. Haha! I have no advice as I write at home, mainly at night once my daughter is fast asleep.

  2. In Iceland, you'd just stand up and go to the bathroom. Well, before the financial catastrophe. Now there are thieving gangs that steal and break in (most people from eastern European countries who are sent to Iceland specifically for this purpose - grrrrr. Not helping the hard working eastern Europeans who are honest).

    Seriously, though. I'd probably get robbed blind out in the big world. I keep clinging to my wallet when I go overseas, but old habits die hard.


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