It’s reckoning time. The Separett Villa that I received as a gift and then had to haul across Northern Europe #humblebrag is finally installed and in action.
My friends used it at a braai as a test run, but that’s biased because they’re my friends and it was a braai – any place to go is a good place. The reviews were good ‘just like a normal toilet’, with Ute adding it does feel a bit ‘like Lego’ when you sit down and there’s a slight thump as your butt presses the button down that makes the modesty flap slide out of the way.
The first paying airbnb guests was the real test, and the review was favourable: “The house is extremely eco-friendly, primarily exemplified by some fancy dry toilet system, the ins and outs of which I’m not entirely familiar but it’s as convenient as a mains sewerage appliance.”
At this point I have to state that my overall sentiment expressed here is not specific to the Separett, it counts for all these sorts of toilets. You can probably tell I’m not overly chuffed.
It’s a good toilet. It’s very well made, the bits and pieces fit together very well. It has a silent fan, which wasn’t even needed but eventually I switched it on out of sheer curiosity.
The problem is that it is just like a normal toilet. Eventhough the airbnb guests left the house spotless, one has to clean the toilet. It’s something that just gets relegated to some lower caste, someone else, right? And suddenly, after how many years of not worrying about it, suddenly I had to clean a little bit of skid marks. Loads of urine spots, all around all the little curves and ridges. So many little annoying things to clean. Also, pubes. My bright red box has none of these problems.
Overall, I think it is unfair to try to make something do something different while still having to look the same. What we think toilets should look like has no bearing on anything. It’s this really odd shaped thing and I don’t even know if we know why all those ridges and curves look the way they do. Why are they there? In the same way Ford didn’t advertise cars as faster horses and all that yadda yadda, we need to think about what it is we really want and design for that, and then judge it based on that, not on what it looked like 200 years ago. I spoke about this a bit in my ‘fashionable like fridges’ post. I also think every individual should have their own toilet, stackable if needs be, rather than the bigger toilets (e.g. wheelie bins) that one poor member of the household (or one poorly paid but ‘part of the family’ person) has to clean and find whatever sins were absolved into it. So family of four, 4 toilets. You poo in it, you clean it, you empty it, you understand it. Maybe then you design it for how you want it, and then you love it. Maybe I should make a ‘select these features’ build your own toilet company… kit-ify toilets.
The final verdict
The Separett Villa 9000, and I’m sure the others like it, is perfect for people who want a flush toilet, but without the flush bit. Me, I prefer my bright red box. I designed it, I love it, it’s perfect for me in every way.