Having to go to the bathroom in France is not at all pleasant. I think the French must have bladders of steel.
If you have to pee when you are not at your home, you are in for a challenge. There are no public bathrooms. Some major monuments do have restrooms open to the public, but you have to pay to use them. The American in me hates paying to pee.
Restaurants, including fast food places, only let you use their bathroom if you are a costumer. I can’t even count how many times I’ve stopped at a McDonald’s or Burger King during a long drive in the States just to use the restroom! But in France this is not allowed.
If you’ve consumed a gigantic soda at the movie theater, and subsequently your bladder is about to burst after watching some 2-hour movie, too bad! After a movie is over, you don’t just walk out of the projection room. You walk right out onto the street.
Since having to go to the bathroom outside of the house is such a hassle, one would think the French would make peeing inside the house easy. This, however, is not the case. Although French houses can be 2 or 3 stories high, the toilet is usually on the first floor (in France, they separate the toilet from the bathtub/shower and have them in different rooms).
If you wake up in the middle of the night and have to pee, you must climb down at least one flight of stairs!
But that is not the worst of it. I live in the Nord. It is always cold. Now the French do have heating, but for some reason they do not heat their toilets! It is always FREEZING in the bathroom.
Needless to say, I try to hold it for as long as I can, and always pee before leaving the house.