Archive for the Berlin people Category

When taking a poo in Berlin, doors are optional

Posted in Berlin people on March 15, 2009 by biggbear

There is much yet to learn about the natives of Berlin. I thought that I understood them, on the whole. They’re not that different from Londoners really, I thought.

But tonight I witnessed behaviour, by a German, of such jaw-dropping audacity and casual brilliance that I realise I have come nowhere near yet to fathoming the full splendour and complexity of the German national character.


That’s one of our good friends, a gleamer and gladhandler of guitars called J. Turbo. He was over at our place tonight, just hanging out.

It was a wholly ordinary evening as we swapped pipe tobacco secrets, spat into our harmonicas and watched Panda writhing on the bed with two laptops for company. After an intermission of standing together in the kitchen listening to Magnetic Fields records, J. Turbo excused himself and went to find the bathroom.

I drank a glass of water. Panda called from the bedroom.

Not hearing her clearly, I wandered out to the hall for a better listen. “What was that you were saying my darling, oh my sweet?”

And then I saw him: J. Turbo, through the wide-open door of the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, taking for want of a better word (there isn’t one) a shit, a picture of Teutonic contentedness.

“Alright Jonny,” I said.
“Hey … Big Bear … grrr”

So casual. I thought he was about to ask me for the time. Or say: “If you want to brush your teeth just go ahead, it’s fine. Don’t mind me.”

Panda thought it a right hoot when I told her the tale later. They don’t do that where she’s from.

But she thinks it’s a brilliant idea, and she wondered if we couldn’t simply remove the toilet door from its hinges and use it as a coffee table.

That way, I will stop clumsily kicking over cups, bottles & ashtrays, and all our future guests – particularly the German naturists among them – will be spared any threat to their immodesty.