Paying in Cake


I discovered just the other day that I was actually not as big of a hardened city bitch I always assumed I was during my trip to Perth.

“I think we should get a cake or something,” I nervously (and rhetorically) asked Flora, my eyes shifting from the tall, thin Australian man at the counter of a coffee shop, the glowing cake display, and then to the restrooms all the way at the corner. There would be no way we could sneak by unnoticed.

Flora nodded in agreement. We had been controlling our water intake the whole day in anticipation of our overactive and overflowing bladders, just in case somehow, somewhere, sometime on our road trip we wouldn’t be able to find a restroom in time to empty it when nature called. Now, if we didn’t get to a bathroom pronto, we’d have to sweat the pee out of our pores or something.

We were already walking for five minutes from the San Churro outlet at Hillary’s Boat Harbour and were trying (very desperately) to locate the public restrooms. The only problem was that when we finally tottered over, shivering in the pee-inducing cold, it was already shuttered up.

Dammit! Doesn’t anybody need to use the restrooms at 9pm? Most of the places selling alcoholic beverages were still open and packed with potentially peeing people. Don’t people need to pee MORE after drinking anyway?

I shot the cake display a look and spotted a few slices of potential cakes we could order before scurrying (felt a bit like I had to restrain myself from galloping over) over to the restrooms and slamming the ladies door urgently behind me.

My goodness, the relief. 

We both exited the restrooms no longer bogged down by an invisible doom timer counting down to when we’d collapse permanently for holding all that fluid in.

Minutes later, we walked out of the store, holding onto our courtesy slice of seven dollar cake, a lime keystone tart pie of some sort, and slid back into the al fresco seats where all of our dinner companions waited.

“What’s that?” Owen, a friend of #cherylschiofriend Vic’s (and now also our new friend), asked after casting a quick glance at it. I set down the white crumpled doggy bag onto the table and immediately blurted, “It’s our seven dollar use-the-bathroom cake!”


This is Owen for visual people who have a hard time reading this post without photos

It started sounding bimbotic that we paid to get our “restroom passes” after saying it out loud and I instantly noted Owen’s incredulous expression. He must have been wondering to himself what is with these two silly girls. Honestly though, is it just me or does nobody feel embarrassed to waltz into a restaurant to use the loo without purchasing anything?

“Why did you buy a cake?! Just get a drink.”

Without missing a beat I quipped,”But the cake and the drink were the same price!”

“Fair enough.”

That would have been the end of that conversation, but another two of our dinner companions, Jayve and Jon, turned around to look at us as we had this riveting conversation about toilets and paying in cake. Jayve’s eyes lit up and started chuckling as she shared an incredibly important piece of information on this fateful third (or forth) day on our five day trip to Perth, “You know, no one pays to use the restrooms. You can just walk in and use it! Restrooms and filtered tap water are basic human rights!”

Do you guys have any idea how many cakes we’ve bought over the past couple of days in our desperation to use the restroom?!


The wonderful couple who dropped the bomb on my excessive cake buying behaviour

On a more positive note, at least we were on our best Singaporean behaviour, except instead of ten cents to the toilet auntie, we doled out seven bucks for a cake in exchange to do an Elsa and let it go. All those random employees of coffee shops were probably wondering why the two of us, overdressed Asian girls, were running into toilets and coming out enthusiastically buying cake takeouts.

I mean, I should have known when Jayve mentioned on day 1 that a burglar could sue the homeowner if he fell off the side of the house while trying to break into it, that we probably wouldn’t have to feel embarrassed to use the restrooms without ordering anything from the eatery at all.

So folks, in a land of human rights like Australia, you don’t need to buy a cake, or a drink, or anything for that matter to use the loo.

P.S: No more cakes for toilets anyway, because I’m back on the (Absolute Slimming) programme.

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