No Peeing Outside Please, We’re British!

Sorry if I’m lowering the tone, but it’s something I can ignore no longer. Why do French men have to pee everywhere? Coming from England where toilets are separate and everyone always uses them, it’s one of those niggling things about living in France that you have to learn to live with. Are the French alone in this pastime or are the Brits the only ones with an aversion to peeing in public?

It seems wherever you go there’s always some man peeing at the side of the road, in his garden, in your garden, whenever the feeling takes him, he’ll just pee with no attempt to disguise it. There was an old man at the market the other day, who lodged his baguette against the wall and then promptly peed right next to it (I hope he wasn’t planning on sharing that bread).

Some friends of mine were sitting on their terrace enjoying a spot of lunch, when their neighbour came out from his kitchen, waved “Bonjour”, then promptly took a leak not more than 10m from where they were sitting. Well really! They were quite put off their cucumber sandwiches.

My husband and our 2 youngest sons aren’t so bothered. They even seem to be taking on this French tradition. But I really had to draw the line the other day when my 3 year old daughter came in with wee all over her trousers. “You can’t wee outside Frankie, you must use the toilet”, “But Luc did!”, she replied. “Well, you’re a girl and girls don’t wee outside – it’s not practical!”, I said firmly. I then turned to her brother. “Luc, don’t wee outside please, it’s not nice.” His sullen response was, “Well, Dad does.”. What more can I say!

I think we may have exhausted this subject now. it goes to show that we Brits still live up to our reputation of covering our sexually repressive natures with an obsessive interest in lavatory humour…Isn’t it all really about something we saw behind the woodshed when we were three!!

Hi Nikki, facilities in Britain are sparse. I come from near Oxford and there’s not much on the M40. Midi Pyrenees I love for the trout fishing - you are right, there are plenty of toilets but its tranquil and for tourists. I think that the general comments have been aimed at “side of the road” incidents. I shall hold my hands up for using those facilities! When in France…!

Hi Brian, yes it’s good to encourage the children not to hold it in, but I supposed I’m more bothered about the lack of discretion - not with kids (when they’ve got to go they’ve got to go), but with adults. I have never noticed the lack of facilities on motorways in Britain, but then I’ve never traveled on the M40 so I’ll just have to take your word on that Finn. There do seem to be plenty of public toilets in our area in Midi Pyrenees, they are just not very hygienic.

Hi Nikki,I am told that French children are taught that to hold their bladder intensifies the risk of prostate cancer and so it’s regarded as normal by everybody French to pee when they need to.

God you should have visited Ninian Park before they knocked it down. Here’s a photo of the toilets there.

Thanks for your comments. Yes, women do do it outside too, but they are more discrete as I never see them by the side of the road (or anywhere else). I’m not against doing it outside but I don’t want to see it thank you. Don’t fancy the FUD much, but a better alternative to some of the public toilets perhaps…

In a restaurant in Fleurie one has to pass by the pissoir to reach the tables at the back of the restaurant,and if you want to use the “ladies” you have to cross the same pissoir to gain access!!

just looked at my earlier post and realised should have said’gave me a cheery wave with ONE hand.

Could be a ' marking their territory' type of thing but I think it is a collective subconscious nervous reaction.

This being a perpetual state of anxiety waiting for the Germans to invade ... again.

After 7 years , have accepted ‘c’est comme ca’. A friend of mine told her husband, after she had to make dash fo the loo on arrival at my craft centre in the UK, 'Its alright for you chaps, you peed behind a tree on the way ,(being British he did bother to find a tree)you’re fitted with a hosepipe, w’ve got a sprinkler system!! And one foggy morning here in France last Autumn, coming back home after an early Dr’s appointment, thought I could see smoke rising from outside a neighbours house, got closer, realised it was 6 chaps standing in a row having a collective pee into the hedge and the resulting steam was quite impressive, but sociablility is endemic our village so they all gave me cheery wave with the hand and carried on with the job in hand, so to speak!

I don’t mind men peeing outside as long as it’s discrete - it is much easier for them after all. Just please, not quite so publicly!

Its why the ladies Bisous rather than shake hands when they meet, they know there was no wash basin last time Jean Luc had a pee. But have to say cant see the problem my self. 4 pees a day 3 litres a flush 365 days a year = 4,380 litres of water saved a year and the garden watered for free!

Environmentally friendly though…There’s a campaign underway to get people to pee in the shower to save water too.

I was once chatting to a friends husband and he turned away mid conversation, opened his flies and started weeing. Continued to chat away whilst doing so and ‘shaking’ afterwards. All a bit much for my little British self!

I think it is a throw back, a sort of Dances with Wolves thing. They do it in Australia too.
Marking territory perhaps or just being one with nature, or maybe it was part of their potty training procedure. Yes thats it…:Clever little Pierre, he is such a big boy now".