Being Told How to Pee
June 16, 2012
Now, don’t be surprised about this if it happens on a visit to a Slovak house. I’m not saying it happens often, but I’m saying I’ve heard enough people talk about it, so that I know it happens.
When a person pees standing up, there will inevitably be some ricocheting. Anyone who has peed standing up has probably noticed that this occurs.
In Slovakia, if you are a man visiting a Slovak home and find yourself needing to use the washroom, the homemaker may show you to the washroom and tell you to pee sitting down. You will either agree, since you are a guest, or you may possibly be the brash type and disagree with the request and ask your host why she would ask you to do that.
The response, if delivered in English or in Slovak will likely not be 100% clear (like many pithy statements made in the Slovak language and heard through the ears of a non-native speaker and like some pithy statements made in the English language by a non-native speaker and heard through the ears of a native speaker – pithy statements don’t always translate well). It will probably go something like this “When you sit, everything goes in the toilet.” I’ve heard some disagreement on what this statement really means. I’ve heard it mentioned for 1. reasons of friendly concern and 2. for hygiene purposes.
The “reasons of friendly concern theory” goes something like this – when a human being is in the seated position, he is more able to empty the contents of the bladder. Therefore, you will more quickly rid your body of more waste, being healthier, lighter, and less likely to need the bathroom again any time soon.
The “reasons of hygiene theory” goes like this – “I clean my toilet often enough and am sick of how dirty it gets. The men in this house sit because I hate cleaning dirty toilets and floors. Do not stand at that toilet and soil my immaculate bathroom. Sit on that toilet. Do not stand. Got it?”
I think the later is the more likely scenario, but I’ve heard compelling arguments for the former. So, the inevitable question:
Would anyone out there like to share their experience when they were on a visit with a Slovak family and were instructed to sit rather than stand? Do you have any further insight you might be able to share? If you are a male Slovak, have you ever been instructed to sit while using the toilet? Believe me, I am prepared to hear from readers “You idiot, this does not happen in Slovakia,” so feel free to state exactly that if you wish, but I have heard this enough times from enough people who have experienced this over the course of decades of travel that I know with certainty that it happens. Perhaps a few readers might be able to shed light on this for me.
Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time travelling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.