I've been away a few days...enjoying parents' visit, wrapping up the last week at work, and of course celebrating Oktoberfest (weisswurst and weissbier brunch today was visit #8 this year - a new record!)
And of course this evening's conversation again turned to the familiar topic:
Upon further investigation, we discovered this phenomenon has a name, and a deeper explanation: It’s called The Sitzpinkel, and according to my Theory of Germany # 273 “If There’s a Word For It In German, It Must Happen Regularly,” this must be more than an isolated practice.
My friend H, who has male German roommates confirms that it’s pretty common in shared or student housing to have this rule. I remember the average level of cleanliness of guys’ houses in college….this makes pretty good sense in those circumstances!
But we may have to attribute the uniquely German practice to the also unique and much dreaded German shelf toilet. Dreaded by tourists and those not previously instructed in its use, that is….
…I’ll just send you over to the guy who best explains it, but this design seems to have higher splash potential and maybe makes it more of a conflict source that it is elsewhere with different toilets.
Similar to the “no feet on the toilet seat” signs in Asia, you can find here “Here men must sit” signs. There are even little gadgets available to aid in training your man or son. “The Little Toilet Ghost” plays a loud warning (hear it here) when the seat is lifted, including German, English, and Dutch warnings of “Don’t you go wetting this floor, Cowboy! You never know who’s behind you, so sit down, get your water pistol in the bowl, where it belongs!”
This device claims to be the friend of the Hausfrau and the “enemy of the standing-to-pee-man” (WC Geist – Der Stehpinklerfiend)
And just so that you future visitors are not scared off – my apartment has “normal” American style toilets and men may stand...