Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Public Toilets: Germany v. US


Click to see the giant version! (Sorry, I can't seem to make it bigger in the blog. I tried to just change the size in the HTML, but then it was just fuzzy.)


  1. I love the picture difference...

    You should include something about wide stances causing foot bumping in American toilets.

  2. That's funny! One thing the drawings left out though is the fact that German bathrooms are FREEZING in the winter.
    We went out for Chinese the other night and Indy got trapped in the stall. Since there is no gap under the door (not that I would have wanted him to CRAWL on the floor anyway-ewwww), the employees had to get a ladder to go over then top of the stall (which was quite high) and lift him out. It is funny NOW, but at the time, we found it less than amusing.

  3. It's a little aggravating here when my stall neighbor can't readily "spare a square".

    The consulate should hand out your picture to newbies.

  4. What about the uniformed toilet attendants in Germany, with a little plate for your change?

  5. Adam: hehehe... what do Germans do when they want to pick someone up in the public toilets?? Oh dear!

    MIHH: I totally agree on the freezing! I had actually written that on my original list of ideas for this post, but when I went back over it, I guess summer was addling my brain and I took it out! I guess it's because the bathroom windows are always open!

    Heza: I don't think I've ever asked anyone to spare a square! I am paranoid and always check for TP before committing to a stall :)

    Papa: That's true, I could put that in with a percent chance kind of like with the hot water tap! US chance of toilet attendant: 5% (usually only in restaurants there), Germany chance of toilet attendant: well, something a lot higher than 5%!

  6. Oh my... you should check out this website.

    It is discussing the "shelf". I've had to use this website to discuss the topic with "shelfless" Americans.

  7. I also have to use the website that Snooker gave when explaining a shelf toilet to friends that come to Germany for the first time. I personally call these toilets "altars to poo" since they put your poo on a little altar. :)

    One thing missing from the American side is the automatic flusher that will flush while you're sitting on the toilet. That is one thing that got to me on my last trip back to the states...that and the huge gaps between the doors. :)

  8. I've never seen a public shelf toilet.

    For that matter, i think the last time i've used a shelf toilet was back in the 80s ;-)

  9. Snooker: I've seen that site and like it. :)

    Jentry: Man, I'd forgotten those things too! I think my brain is leaving the US behind...

    Kato: It's always a risk...;) You are lucky to have not used one in so long! We have one at home, at work, at my husband's work...they're everywhere!

  10. The set of public toilets that I don't mind paying for are those super-clean play 50 cents at certain gas stations. Then you can use the 50 cents credit at the gas station store. I cannot think of their name right now!

  11. those super-clean play 50 cents at certain gas stations. Then you can use the 50 cents credit at the gas station store. I cannot think of their name right now!

    Is it "Sanifair"?

    That sounds familiar in my brain.

  12. Thats the best diagram I've seen in a long time.

    As a Canadian, It also explains why americans are so impressed while I had the opposite expression when I first came to Germany - apparently Canadian toilets are much cleaner than American ones!

    Nice blog - mind another reader?


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