I first travelled to Germany in 1998 to give a talk.
My parents told me the Germans have no sense of humor, try to be Dr. Doug and not Doug.
I knew better.
The only response to my food safety one-liners was crickets.
In 2012 or so, I went to a U.S. military base in Germany, to give a talk about sprouts and the E. coli O104, and the 50 people dying and thousands sick and sourcing safe food and what could be done.
That sounds fairly terrible.
Yet all I really remember is that when I got off the train, I had to pee.
I’m getting older, urinary function is becoming more of a priority.
There were no public bathrooms, it cost money to piss anywhere inside, and the locals said, just piss wherever you want, no one cares.
(And don’t think you can just crawl under those toilet doors; they have reinforced steel, barriers down to the base, all so someone has to pay a buck – and I didn’t have any German currency and thought it would be rude to piss in the sink.
So I did it outside.
According to River Donaghey of Vice, a seemingly endless stream of drunk people’s urine is eroding the stone foundation of the world’s tallest church in the German city of Ulm, and no one quite knows how to stop it, CNN reports.
Late-night revelers already face a $109 fine if they’re caught emptying their bladders on the 531-foot-tall Ulm Minster church, but the monetary threat hasn’t thwarted drunken partiers drawn to the hulking piss-beacon.
The damage to the stone base of the church comes from the acids and salt in the pee, not to mention other bodily fluids drunk folks might leave behind, like puke.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it’s coated with urine and vomit,” the church’s head of maintenance, Michael Hilbert, told a local paper. “This is about preserving law and order.”
What law and order means in this case is probably just some Ulm city officials dishing out a few bucks for more public toilets or for city cops to up their ticketing. But the easiest solution may lie in the bottom of a few five-gallon buckets of that pee-proof paint.
BTW, Australia has the best public facilities I’ve ever seen.
It’s a f***ing island, of course they have to keep it clean.