Saturday, August 11, 2007

today,tomorrow,and yesterday

As you know,
there has been
a few things
I've had to get
accustomed to here in Germany. I can say that I have adapted to stores being closed on Sunday,drinking fizzy water without ice, no air-conditioning,and church bells that ring every hour on the hour. I now present to you my biggest challenge,our bathroom toilet, a.k.a. "The Poo-Poo Shelf" or in German the "Flachspueler"(flatflusher). As a people,the Germans are noted for their efficiency and order. This device contradicts any evidence of those traits. The shelf has no apparent function and requires a certain amount of skill to avoid it. Otherwise, one is expected to develop a close personal relationship with their own refuse. Flushing many times is the only way to end this partnership- very,very inefficient. Males must master the technique when peeing to avoid the splash-back effect, which would be similar to peeing on a flat rock, or sit to avoid it all together. Some toilets have a sticker under the lid reminding males to sit. This is called the Sitzpinkel Rule.
Around 1900 the shelf was the best defense against intestinal disease providing a perfect examining tray for the result of undercooked pork, meaning-WORMS! Since then meat inspection has improved dramatically and the shelf is no longer necessary. Now there are more modern toilets similar to the ones we use in America, but some of these torture devices still remain. Including the three we have in our house.
In Sigmund Freud's stages of development the second stage is the anal stage. It is characterized by the development of pleasure by controlling waste. This is the time that children begin to potty train. If some conflict arises during this phase (2-3yrs.), the child may exhibit anal personality traits including a strong desire for efficiency and order.
I would imagine a German toddler having quite a bit of conflict forced to confront the "Poo-Poo Shelf". Perhaps, this early training is why they grow up to be so efficient?

1 comment:

88heather said...

hahahahaha!!! We have one too!!! and I HATE IT!!! our American neighbors that just moved in next door the wife asked their landlord to rip the toilet out b/c she HATED it!!! too funny!

I noticed you cleaned that toilet before taking the pic!! Thanks for that!! heehe.. as it can be super nasty!! Yuck!

I love living here for many reasons.. SHOPPING.. seeing new places.. but things like the TOILET.. drive thru's and just hearing English.. I really really miss that!

But I'm going to paint everything I can here to capture as much as I possibly can while i'm here .. no plans though of painting in toilets though!!!

Hey you should get a pic of an Italian toilet.. ya know the ones you stand over with no seat to pee or poop down a hole in the ground!! Sanitary for the fact you don't have to sit on a nasty seat.. but kind of awkward especially if you had to go number 2!!!

Love how you write Mary Beth!! great observations!! I can tell you are an artist at heart!! and you write so witty!! Love reading your blog!!