It all started after the Clink78 hostel common area closed and we ended the night with London Bridge, by Fergie. Such a brilliant song to play while visiting London right? The lights turned on and the conversation started. I got the chance to talk with people from all over the world because a lot of people didn’t want to go to their rooms just yet. One of my conversations was with a British male, born and raised.

Recently I have been becoming across green signs that said TO LET.  I asked him, “To let what?” I don’t understand why they didn’t finish the sentence. TO LET….. you go to the bathroom, or TO LET…… you go to the restroom? He really couldn’t answer my question as to why the bathrooms were called “To Let”, he told me that is something I should Wikipedia.  Another guy popped in his head and said, “It means Toilet they just forgot the I and the L. I introduced myself and he was visiting from Uganda. It was very interesting to get different perspectives from how others interpreted signs. Although his interpretation of TO LET made for a good laugh.

Turns out “To Let” means a room or property available to rent, as some bathrooms are 20 to 50 pence (cents).

I wish there were universal signs for bathroom or fire escape so basic things were not so confusing. I saw a green sign with a little white man that looked on a mission to go to the bathroom.

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I thought, “That guy is running to the bathroom”– naturally because in London there is a variety of signs that mean bathroom.

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Turns out that it actually was a fire exit sign, quite embarrassing, but it made me wonder if there are signs in the United States that are a little different that we have just become accustomed to? Kind of like my conversation with the guy who has lived here his whole life and could not explain what “To Let” actually meant.

–Amanda Kaiser