What is it about the French and their toilet habits? Whilst the rest of the world has moved on from pissoirs (in regular use in Paris well into the latter decades of the 20th century), France seems to have maintained their habit of peeing up against a wall.
A very common site in the countryside here is a car stopped alongside the road with a man standing peeing beside it. You might think that a coach would pull into a hotel and use the facilities as they do in other countries. France habits are different. Here, they pull into a hotel car park then the men head toward the hotel wall and the ladies squat beside the nearest hedge or parked car, totally ignoring overlooking windows or security cameras.
Of course, that’s just urine, isn’t it? Well, no, it isn’t. I’ll leave how they deal with “number 2s” along the road to your imagination but it’s certainly not in any kind of sanitary way. After all, why did you think the French invented perfume?
In the rest of the world boats have a holding tank for toilet and other waste water. French canal boats simply empty it straight out the bottom of the boat and the only reason why canal boats aren’t followed by a trail of toilet paper is that it sinks to the bottom. Bet that’s put you off paddling your feet in French canals!
Septic tanks tend to frighten the life out of brits moving to France. Quite rightly too. In the UK they are widely used in the country but there they are built well away from the house although you could quite safely drink the water coming out the other end. In France? Well, we’ve just been to a lovely park with a nice little sportsground and childrens’ playground. A rather smelly sewage plant is right inside the park! We even know of someone who built their septic tank right outside their kitchen window. I think that it’s safe to say that neither would be permitted under UK planning regulations but then who needs regulations to tell them that having a septic tank under your kitchen window isn’t a good idea?
Why can’t they clean up their act and get on like the rest of the world?Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.