Thursday, June 23, 2011

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!


  1. I know what you mean. When we first arrived in France & were living in Toulouse my daughter became friends with a girl who's mother was American & father French. The mother, daughter and younger brother visited one afternoon. As they left & were just outside our front door the mother asked her son if he needed a 'pee pee'. Stupidly (I now realise) I offered them to come back indoors & use the toilet that was just 4ft away in the hall. They had of course passed it just 10 seconds before. No need I was told & the boy 'went' just outside our front door!
    On another ocassion I visited them, they live in a built up area on a housing estate. As we arrived their son was peeing through the front garden fence towards the neighbours son, who was peeing back through the fence at him. I can only guess they were having some kind of competition. So there you have it, its not just the French but the Americans quite like 'doing it' too!!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I think maybe in "French" father here is the key. I had another comment from a friend on Facebook and she said her partner (who is half French) is very fussy about where he pees. But, his father was English.

  3. OMG I had never seen this (I am in Australia) until we moved to Spain, they pee in public there too!

  4. I don't actually think it's that important, just an observation really :)

  5. yayyyy and we love it lmao

    anonymous french guy