Travelers and tourists have long been perplexed by cords which hang from Italian bathrooms. What happens if you pull them? Well, after being stormed by police while bored on the toilet, one curious (and embarrassed) woman recently found out.
Italian law actually requires that an emergency cord hang from all public toilets. Basically, they are intended as the Italian version of the infamous “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” life alert system. Ideally, if you pull the cord, someone of authority should immediately rush to your assistance.
Despite the law, there is apparently some ambiguity regarding the proper response if one is pulled. Often times nothing happens at all, likely as a result of the ‘never cry wolf’ syndrome (could there be anything more enticing to a prankster than a cord dangling over a toilet?).
But for one traveler, who reported the incident via twitter (@Moscerina)– yes, twitter– pulling the cord prompted a machine-gun holding carabinieri to charge into the bathroom to investigate.
Although we suspect that this incident is the exception rather than the rule, it’s enough for us to implore to all travelers: as a general rule, it’s probably best to avoid pulling mysterious strings while tweeting on the loo.
Image Credit: swimboy1 on Flickr