It’s that time again, where you share a little bit too much about yourself with thousands of strangers.  To read about everyone else’s horror stories, go to LiLu’s TMI Thursday page:)

Since I have just returned from a trip to Germany (I can’t believe I’ve been back a week already) I thought I would share a very funny and random TMIT with all of you lovelies.

I don’t know how many of you have been to Germany, but if you have, one of the first things you notice when you use a toilet in a house or hotel (most public toilets are the same) is that they are different from American toilets.  I know you are probably wondering how a toilet can really be that different, but it Germany it can.

Take a look at example A.  It is a toilet that you see in America, no matter where you go.  There is a deep bowl, filled with water.

American Toilet Example A – American Toilet

Now, take a look at Example B.  It’s a German toilet.  Instead of being greeted by a big bowl of water, you are met with a small puddle of water that rests on a shelf.  Down a steep slope from the shelf is the hole, where the rest of the water resides.

German toiletExample B – German toilet

I will give you a few moments to ponder over this oddity….You ready?

Now, I grew up in Germany.  But I always forget about the Poop Shelf (our wonderful nickname for it) until I visit and experience it for the first time.  It is seriously makes for one of the nastiest bathroom experiences ever.  For girls, going pee isn’t bad; it’s practically the same.  For guys, I’m sure there is a degree of splash back due to the shelf.  Going number 2 is a whole different story.

Imagine if you will, that you are on a vacation in Germany.  You have been drinking beer religiously because in most places it’s cheaper than soda or water.  You are eating a diet full of meat (deli, cooked, sausage – you name it, you’re eating it), carbs and probably not as many veggies as you should be having.  All of this heavy eating and drinking takes a toll on your digestive track, so you have to make frequent trips to the bathroom.

You saunter into the bathroom, cop a squat, and do your business, only to be met by the most foul odor you can imagine.  Because when you poop in Germany, Mr. Hanky does not submerge into a pool of water, which helps dissipate the stench.  Instead, he lands in a tiny amount of water on the Poop Shelf, wafting his stankiness up and out of the toilet.  It is awful!

In this instance, you try to be polite and courtesy flush.  But if you are not physically prepared to assume a skiers crouch, your tush will get splashed by the violent rush of water that is necessary to propel Mr. Hanky to his final destination in a sewage treatment plant.

I’m sure you are wondering what the Poop Shelf is for.  Well, I will tell you.  It’s for making the collection of stool samples so much easier.  Instead of trying to unload in a tiny cup, you can just do it on the shelf and scoop it out.  How ingenious!  – I could not imagine having to scoop poop out of the toilet in a cup, shudder.

For those of you really interested in the Poop Shelf, check out this hilarious article I found comparing German and American toilets.

So, have any of you had any strange toilet experiences in your travels overseas? 🙂



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