Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Up Wednesday?

I am the LAST person to complain about a country that we moved to voluntarily. However, that does not mean that I don't notice certain cultural umm...shall we call them differences?

On Wednesdays, for as long as I have fodder, I will try to explore these cultural differences in a humorous way. Some of these will apply only to Berlin. Some will apply to Germany as a whole and occasionally I might even catch most of Europe in my post.

I promise, if you know me, I would make fun of any country I live in including the good 'ole USA! (Don't get me started...)

We are going to start this week with....THE TOILETS!!!! This post is also dedicated to my mother who was a bit horrified I did not warn her blog about the toilets before she visited.

Looks normal...but wait...Where is the handle to flush? 2 buttons?

The big one is for #2 and the little one for #1. I think it helps save water.

What is that giant shelf for?

If you don't know, your #2 stays there while the rest goes into the bowl. Why? Ich hab kein Idee. I think it might be so that you can look at your # 2 to make sure that everything is a-ok. I once had a health teacher who would talk about the color, smell and size of her AND her husband's heisse scheisse.

We always keep a brush beside the toilet because as you can probably guess, when it doesn't go in water, it leaves trails. So after every #2, make sure you scrub!

I am not the first one to blog about this interesting fact. Snooker, Alyssa and Heidelbergerin have all been fascinated with this phenomenen.

I am used to the new toilet routine by now but as I was searching for more info, I came upon this asking if my toilet or my keyboard was cleaner? I am just hoping they weren't referring to a shelf toilet!


Caffienated Cowgirl said...

I love explaining toilets to visitors from home...the look on their faces is always priceless...because at first they are trying to grasp the concept of two buttons, then it dawns on them that there is also a shelf :)

Alexander Wesselmann said...

I think there is one benefit about our "Flachspüler"-Design.

But it only shows when you are asked to bring a "sample" to the doctor.

If you can't find a brush:

A few sheets of toilet paper strategically placed, and its like you have never been there :)

headbang8 said...

Bavarians aren't nearly so hung up about their bowel movemments. Perhaps the average Bavarian stool is too horrible to contemplate.

Mom Unplugged said...

I remember those little shelves from my Junior Year Abroad in Hamburg! I always wondered about the purpose too. I am glad I am not the only one who contemplated this matter and found it utterly inexplicable!

Mom said...

Yes I think I got to be a very good flying carpet for passenger use maker

cliff1976 said...

We just moved in January and are still getting used to our Flachspüler.

I was thinking about this today at work (on a break from an 8-hour meeting): are the two buttons — large and small — related to "großmachen" and "kleinmachen"? Are the buttons sized according to name for the activity or did the names come from the buttons?

I laughed out loud; thanks "Mom."

lettershometoyou said...

I call those biffies "flush-n-brush" because that's what you have to do every time.

Kayla said...

We have a new building at Western and the toilets are a lot like that. The handles are green and you pull up for #1 and push down for #2. I love them. They save SOOOOO much water.

Yelli said...

@ Caff Cowgirl - I have been there! I wish I could take pics when it dawns on them!

@ Alexander - I understand your point but how many times in a person's life do they need to get a sample? 1 maybe 2 times? Besides, can't you get one from the bucket toilets too? :)

@ headbang - LOL! After having briefly lived in Bavaria, I might be eager to agree with you.

@ Mom unplugged - utterly inexplicable is a good expression to use for this!

@ Cliff - I wondered the same myself...hmmm Any experts on all things German toilets?

@ lettershome & Mom - Flush & brush and Magic Carpet Rides are good names! LOL!

@ Kayla - I love the water saving ability. I didn't know that was catching on in the States but I am glad to hear it. However, I don't think I will EVER move back if I have to deal with shelf toilets again!

@ Kayla - I am totally