Saturday, February 7, 2015
A MUST READ (to protect yourself)!
So, you're visiting Germany for the first time and enjoying the sights! Thus far, the people have been friendly, the food has been delicious and the beer is plentiful. Strolling along the canals you might discover little markets filled with all sorts of interesting goods, including plenty of chocolates. You will notice, even enjoy plenty of the imbiss stands selling curry sausages along your journey. But not to be worried about as all this walking is clearly burning off the calories. As the day progresses, you start to feel like you might be falling in love with German living! Life is good... Everything is beautiful... People are wonderful... Food is plentiful and delicious... and, just as this feeling of euphoria is about to reach it's climax...
Suddenly, abruptly, without warning, you feel like you've been punched in the stomach by an angry Mike Tyson! You are in trouble, and you know it! Although the quality and freshness of the food here is exceptional, indulging in too much sausage, bread, butter, potatoes, chocolates and interesting vegetables and then washing it all down with carbonated water and carbonated beer has taken it's toll on your digestive system! Simply put, you now dealing with a potentially explosive situation!
You take a deep breath and relax. It's going to be alright, just look at how many people are out and about. Clearly, there must be a bathrooms somewhere nearby. While passing through the little markets and stands, it becomes obvious that none of them contain bathrooms. But, you relax and try not to panic. Panicking will only make things worse, right? After a quick scan or the surrounding area, you become frighteningly aware that there are no bathrooms within sight. Now, with a potentially explosive situation becoming progressively worse as a feeling of panic starts to set in, you decide to ask someone where the closest toilet is.
Asking a German where you can find a public toilet is a lot like asking your third cousin to describe his friend's latest Big Foot sighting. "I may or may not have seen one, perhaps over here or perhaps over there, in an area somewhere behind or in front of something, or next to the woods, near the creek, but I'm not sure it's true, oh, you're just going to have to take my word for it..." Public toilets are far more rare in Germany than they are in The States and I get the impression that the Germans who know where these toilets are, try to protect them from the amazingly destructive powers a typical over indulging tourist's digestive system!
Now in a CODE RED situation with the panic and fear clearly visible in you eyes, someone will probably take pity on you and point you in the direction of the "closest" toilet. Although it's not as close as you've hoped for, it will have to do... You try to breathe and relax as you make your way to the nearest center, all the while repeating: "I can do this, I will be alright, everything will be fine..." over and over in your mind. Each time you pass another imbiss stand, you start to curse the day you ever decided to visit to Germany! Life is horrible... The food is greasy and disgusting... The people are cruel and have an odd sense of humor... and, just as this explosive feeling and panic is about to reach it's climax...
You finally reach the public toilet only to realize that public toilets aren't free and the last of your change was spent on Currywurst!