Different countries, different customs. This is also the case with sanita- tion. Unlike in some countries, sitting toilets are the norm in Germany. These are so called because you sit on the toilet while your legs remain on the floor next to the bowl. This protects the toilet seat from contami- nation and scratching. Only urinals which are found in public men’s toilets are used while standing up.

Since the sewerage system in Germany is very good, used toilet pa- per can be disposed of in the toilet bowl and flushed away. The bin next to the toilet is used for any other rubbish. In some public toilets, special cloths or films are provided for cleaning the seat and so keep sitting toi- lets hygienic. Sometimes there are also staff who clean the toilets after use. Occasionally you will find air fresheners on the rim of the bowl which make the toilet smell pleasant. You normally have to pay to use public toilets or you will find a small bowl at the entrance for a small voluntary contribution.

There are usually separate toilets for men and women. You can see which is which by the appropriate pictograms or letters on the doors (H for ‘Herren’ (men), D for ‘Damen’ (women)). If there are joint facilities for men and women – for example, on trains or aeroplanes – these are normally marked WC.

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