Tour de Toilette

As always, we only seem to enjoy the touristy side of Berlin when we have visitors.

Our current visitor determined from home that there was to be a "Tour de Toilette" on Saturday, led by Anna Haase, a Berlin tour guide. That sounded like fun, and since I once read parts of the chapter from the 1910 "Lexikon der Gesamte Technik" on the topic of Bedürfnisanstalten aloud as part of a celebration at school and had them laughing in the aisles, I made a copy of that article for her and joined in.

We started off at the French Cathedral at the Gendarmenmarkt, where there is a restored and fully functional "Café Octagon". Instead of having 7 urinals on the inside, however, there is one side for the ladies - a little room with a door and a wash bowl outside and two urinals and a washbowl for the gents. The urinals have little bugs painted on the spot that is to be aimed for. There are apparently quite a number of such "targets" painted on urinals, goal posts are said to be popular.

She wanted to show us the modern toilets on the other side of the Gendarmenmarkt, but it was now working and she couldn't even get it open with her key. Apparently, handicapped people (and toilet tour guides) can get a key to open all (working) outdoor bathrooms all over Germany.

She showed us some pictures of old bathrooms that have not been preserved for posterity. Some included innovative airing systems that vented the, um, bad air up through the gas latern. Or maybe the gas was used to fire the lanterns....

We walked through the sunny afternoon to the Friedrichstraße station, where we got to visit the luxury stalls without having to pay. For an Euro you get a clean place to go, for seven you can rent a shower (one member of the tour group noted that a five-person family could comfortable shower in there) including towels.

A short train ride took us to the Potsdamer Platz, where we got to go into the Kaisersaal after taking a look at the Kaiser's own urinal. Think marble, although I always though marble and urine didn't go together well. It was quite a grand place, and kind of cool to be visiting the gent's rooms.

We decided not to continue on to the restaurant "Das Klo", where we could have eaten sitting on a commode and had toilet brushes (hopefully unused) and other toilet accessories. Instead, we headed home for a nice meal. It was an interesting day, though!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if ever in Japan, you "got to go" and see their 'state of the art' -- amaying!