My roommate Ally just approached me in the kitchen as I was cooking dinner. The conversation went something like this (rough memory, rough translation):
Ally: Do you sit down on the toilet when you pee?
Me: Um. Why would I sit down when I pee?
Ally: Because it’s cleaner. You don’t need to clean the toilet as often.
Ally: Is that surprising to you? All men in Germany sit down when they pee.
Me: Really? I have trouble believing that.
Ally: OK, probably not all, but certainly most.
Me: Wow. Well. I’m … sorry. I will try to sit down when I pee.
So I should explain that German toilets aren’t constructed quite like American ones. There’s this weird two-tier system, like a cow’s stomachs, whereby what comes out of one’s body is deposited on a kind of shelf, and is then washed down to the lower level, and from there down the pipes, when one flushes. There must be an good explanation for this system, but I really can’t come up with any, other than that it allows you to admire your handiwork a little better. It also produces quite a bit more splashback — hence the (to my mind peculiar) request tonight.
But men out there who have lived in Germany: Is it really true that men pee sitting down here?
(N.B. The German word for “to pee” is “pinkeln.” It’s a good word.)