Home > General > This is quite enough.

This is quite enough.

Germany is a highly regulated country. No one has ever denied that. In fact, many wry observations have been made concerning the level of bureaucracy and regulation in the Federal Republic. Not too long ago, a woman at my health insurance company told me a joke about Germany: “Germany, your bureaucrats”. Part of this is cultural. Germans tend to see things in black and white. Germans also tend to prefer said black and said white to be as clearly delineated as possible.
This is also reflected in the German legal system. Forms and contracts in Germany tend to be quite succinct, especially when compared to those written in Common Law countries. The German Civil Code is very detailed and covers virtually every aspect of commerce and legally binding agreements. There is little point in outlining terms and conditions because any agreement would be subject to established rules and regulations.
Today, however, I spotted something which simply went too far. It being a cool day, I found it necessary to go to a convenience. After paying my obligatory 50-cent fee, annoying but tolerable considering that in exchange the convenience is clean and well-maintained, I saw an illustrated guide to adhering to regulations concerning how men may use a toilet. Yes, there are now regulations concerning which position men can be in while using a toilet. I am not entirely sure how they intend to enforce these regulations, but they have illustrated guides showing how to obey these regulations. We men must sit when urinating, not stand. I wish them the very best of luck in their attempts to persuade men to comply with this.

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Categories: General
  1. sheona
    October 28, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I believe that these regulations and illustrations are designed for immigrants who are unused to such civilised things.

  2. October 29, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I used to fly to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden and Stuttgart. Germany was my favourite country for night stopping. Clean comfortable hotels, pleasant staff, interesting things to do and everything went like clockwork 99% of the time. Heathrow was third world by comparison. Probably still is.

  3. October 29, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Christopher, you are absolutely right regarding the rules and regulations. This seems, to many of us, to be too restrictive and impeding too much on our natural freedoms, but try discussing these points with a typical German. They will not understand your concerns or fears because every one of these rules makes sense and has been well thought through. And we can’t deny that Germany has been very successful over recent decades with this kind of erbsenzaehlerei.
    I lived for some years in the village of Gauting, just South of Munich. This area in Bavaria is the epicentre of rules and regulations. Berlin, for example, is far more free thinking.
    One Friday evening we were driving home after a swim in Ammersee when, on the radio, they forecast rain for Saturday. I said to my wife that if we hurry home I could quickly mow the lawns before dinner as Saturday is rain and Sunday mowing is not allowed.
    I began mowing the grass at about 7pm. At 8.05pm I was almost finished when my wife said there was a man at the door complaining about the noise. I went to speak to him and he sternly informed me that it was now after 8pm and mowing was no longer allowed. He would call the police if I didn’t stop.
    I told him to fuck off and call the police, in typically English style 🙂
    A German will mow the lawn on a Saturday, even if his direct neighbour was having a party with friends, BECAUSE he is allowed to mow on a Saturday, whereas we in England would think “aha, my neighbour is having friends round. I will mow tomorrow.

    My wife (who is German) could never understand my irritation at the German rules-for-everything approach until she had lived in the UK for 10 years. Now they irritate her too.

    p.s. The police didn’t come after all. 🙂
    .

  4. O Zangado
    October 29, 2014 at 8:28 am

    We hove up at Salzburg airport one wintery afternoon and confronted a small cubicle with a bright light shining from the ceiling onto an immigration chappie who looked like he was the spawn of the Wehrmacht, peaked hat, uniform and all.

    “Zo”, he zed (sorry, said), inspecting our passports, “You are here for zer skiing”

    “No”, said A Zangada, brlghtly, “We are here for the drinking.”

    Much later, I had to punch into her that you don’t take the pish out of an Austrian customs official.

    OZ

  5. sheona
    October 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Christopher, be thankful for Germany and its public conveniences. You could be in France. This is a report from the Paris Masters tennis tournament at Bercy, with the world’s top tennis players competing with what seem to be less than world-class facilities.

    ” Canada’s Milos Raonic spent over eight minutes searching for a suitable toilet before battling back to beat American Jack Sock 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-4).

    The number seven seed, who needs to win the tournament to guarantee his place in the season finale, said: “Whoever the escort who took me was, took me into a bathroom that had no seats on the toilet.

    “I didn’t want to squat, so I kept saying, ‘let’s go to another one’, and we ended up going to the locker room.”

  6. christinaosborne
    October 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I always liked Germany, clean and efficient.
    I never found any of their rules irksome in that they appear to maintain harmony.
    As for mowing lawns on Sunday, it isn’t done here either in the local towns, no shops open either! I rather like it. One day of rest and cessation of noise in a mad world.
    As for the loos, I take your point! As sheona says, probably introduced for the bloody immigrants.
    In Brum, they are so bad that the council only rehomes them in blocks of flats that are awaiting demolition. They will cook over fires lit on the living room floors, (thankfully concrete!) and perch squatting on the seats of loos and miss evidently! Mostly Somali and Eritraean. They never put them with real humans!
    Thank heavens they are not going to rescue even more of them from drowning in the Med! They all need deporting.

  7. sheona
    October 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Most of the fires in old Paris blocks of flats that frequently kill residents are started by immigrants lighting fires in the lobby or stairwell to cook the goat curry. Being old, these buildings have more wood in them and burn nicely.

  8. christinaosborne
    October 30, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Hopefully they burn with denizens in situ!

  9. christinaosborne
    October 30, 2014 at 12:45 am

    PS If they are pissing me off sufficiently to want to exit this mortal coil I think it only appropriate if perchance through dairy indulgence they go first!!!!!

    Whopee!

  10. October 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Sheona: I had always assumed that the French for convenience was “le trottoir”. That said, your point is well-taken. In many places with large numbers of mainland Chinese tourists among others, there are frequently illustrated signs detailing how to use toilets correctly and warning people not to stand and squat on them. This is a large source of friction in Hong Kong between Hong Kongers and Mainland Chinese.

    Jazz: it is not quite as clean or kept-up as it was in the past. I am often astounded about how quickly things have started going getting tatty in Germany. Most people I know are infuriated about it as well. Merkel’s austerity programme and its effects in other parts of Europe have gained a lot of attention. Its effects have also recently become more visible in Germany where even basic infrastructure is not being maintained in order to make a point. Ultimately, this costs Germany a lot more money.

    Gazoopi: not quite so much any more. For the most part Germans are content, but in the past decade things have started to go too far. Even many Germans I know are saying that these regulations are getting excessive. Both my uncles are infuriated with how things are going, both my aunts are annoyed although they’re far more reserved. My mum has said that she’d much rather deal with Californians and their absurdities than return to Germany. I’ve largely cleaved to the “right” side of the law, but have on more than one occasion written long, acidic letters to various bureaux laced with barbs and more than a little malice. Never anything direct, of course, but the points could not be missed.

    CO: much the same in Trier re the Somalis and Eritreans, although Syrians are being put in the same blocks now. Almost everyone has grown annoyed beyond reason by this. My proposal to house them in the Reichstag, Bundeskanzleramt, Bellevue Palace and any other government buildings with enough room to house many has received near-universal approval among Germans.

  11. christinaosborne
    October 30, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    christopher, from what I can see all western style countries are sick to death of immigrants and just wish them elsewhere. The only people who have any sympathy are those who do not have any on their doorsteps!

    At the moment they just want them elsewhere, then it will be repatriation and when that is not possible it will turn to extermination. When has it ever been any different in history? Well documented ever since Darius!

  12. October 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I’m not quite sure it’s immigrants necessarily as much as it is wards of the state who will never contribute anything. In Germany, for example, Italian gelateria owners are well-liked as are Spanish plumbers and Greek restaurateurs. People also don’t complain about Chinese or South-East Asia shop owners. It is a matter of at least trying to come to terms with the country and being useful.

  13. October 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    At the moment they just want them elsewhere, then it will be repatriation and when that is not possible it will turn to extermination. When has it ever been any different in history? Well documented ever since Darius!

    God help the people who around when it kicks off.

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