Saturday, June 03, 2006

Public Urination in Germany

I am not sure if other expats noticed this after they first arrived in Germany, but I find it peculiar how many times I witness someone urinating in public. I am not talking about a homeless person or someone who is obviously mentally ill. I am talking about reasonable people. I see it frequently and I am surprised by this behavior. You rarely ever see this in America unless it was a homeless person and this person was most likely mentally ill. Additionally, in America you can be fined or arrested for public urination.

Yesterday I was looking out my bedroom window and I witnessed about 6 guys get off the underground and they all proceeded to a row of bushes to urinate in the broad daylight. It was around 15:00 I believe. They all lined up in a row to relieve themselves and I only grabbed my camera after 4 out of 6 of them had left the bushes. You can see in the second photo one of them buttoning his pants.

Do you find this odd or I am being too Puritanical American-like? I look forward to some comments on this subject, especially from expats.

Here are two out of six or so that I saw in a line urinating into the bushes and notice how one of them is buttoning his pants:

Now they are all done:


Anonymous Annette said...

I know what you are talking about. No wonder that Freud developed the idea of penis envy in females.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Hamish said...

I would say it's odd, esp in broad daylight. I haven't really witnessed that here, but I did have the unfortunate pleasure of walking by a guy taking a dump in a park.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

It is odd, but I had a public pissing trifeca sometime last year--3 incidents of men pissing in broad daylight in Germany with no shame.

Now in Amsterdam they have those public urinals scattered around town, and I don't just mean the fancy green metal ones that hide what you are doing, but those public port-o-potty urinal ones.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say it's quite normal (for men that is) - although I personally (as a woman) don't like witnessing these incidents. :S

3:15 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Yeah, this is normal for Germany. Little kids, both boys and girls, are also often seen being held up by their parents so they (the kids) can pee. Pretty unhygienic, I'd say, but I guess it goes along with the doog poop on the sidewalks. :-)

4:22 PM  
Blogger CocteauBoy said...

I don't know how you missed it, but peeing in public in the daylight in the U.S. isn't THAT rare, and it's not limited to the homeless or mentally ill, LOL. It's done with more discretion, but it's still something that happens; especially in metro areas, like here in New York City where it is often nearly impossible to find a decent or available public restroom.

I'm too pee-shy, so I am sorry to say that none of you will find me peeing in a row of bushes with a row of men.


5:43 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Even in the US it is common to see little kids peeing outside--they can't hold it if a bathroom is not nearby--but the large number of adults who do it here in Germany is strange. Once a week we see this old lady doing it as we walk to the University. At least the guys you saw hid behind a bush! She just drops her drawers right by the sidewalk!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Nicolette said...

it's mostly men who do that. I only ever once saw a woman do that - she was REALLY VERY drunk.
On another note, I learnt from one of my favourite shows on German television, "Genial daneben", that there is a town somewhere (I forget where, but I think somewhere in Germany) where there are bits of metal screwed to all the corners (where two walls meet, facing inwards, you know what I mean? Ideal peeing spot?) which has been fixed at such an angle that no matter how you pee on it, it will splash. I like that. :-)

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have NEVER seen anyone pee outside in the US (tho I am aware that it happens).
I too, was totally shocked when I came to Germany. I've unfortunately seen LOTS of people (old, young, women, men, children) pee outside (downtown Nurnburg, side of roads, fests, etc) in Germany.

Do you know if it's legal?

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not just German men, women do it too. I've seen groups of young German women just drop trou and squat on sidewalks against buildings. I'm sure there are pics posted on the 'net if you look. . .

10:02 PM  

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