The French Restroom bureaucracy

As I adjusted to my life in France, it seemed more and more as if I couldn’t do so much as sneeze without receiving authorization from the correct government minister. I concluded somewhat bitterly that this was a system put in place deliberately to keep you from succeeding in whatever it is you wish to do—its purpose is to make you fail. And nothing made this clearer than the adventure that would become my favorite analogy for the convoluted French administration: my Odyssey-like search for a free public toilet during a visit to Montpellier. […]