Gray Matter


Public Urination Is a Common Occurrence

public urinationPublic urination is offensive to some people. Of course, it depends on the area and the customs of the people in that area. You can see public urination happening often outside urban areas. Not so much in urban public places.

Despite what you think, it isn’t taboo to urinate in public. It could be inappropriate, however, based on the circumstances. You wouldn’t want it visible near a gathering, like a wedding or some other formal ceremony.

Private or Public?

Let me tell you a short story about the first 13 years of my life in small town, USA.

My family lived in a four-bedroom, one-bath house. A one-bath house was pretty common in the sixties and seventies. Many houses didn’t even have one (the bathroom was an outhouse). I shared that house with my parents, four brothers and four sisters. And sometimes, visiting relatives.

My brothers and I had to compete with our sisters for time in the bathroom. It was almost always occupied. When you have to go, you have to go. Instead of waiting in pain, we would go to a place between the house and the fence on the secluded side of the house. The grass in that area was always greener than anywhere else.

I would consider it a private location. That specific area wasn’t visible from outside the property.

Public Urination in the Philippines

Boys and men will do what they do, regardless of where they are. Sometimes it’s hilarious (to me, anyway). They have anointed the trees in my backyard many times over. The opposite side of the street in front of my house seems to be another favorite place. There’s a drainage hole in one corner of the fence on the side of my house. While it’s designed to let rain run into the creek, they use it for draining something else.

These guys will urinate almost anywhere. If there’s a sign that says “bawal umihi dito” (which means something like “urinating here is forbidden”), they will urinate on the sign. One time, when I went shopping with a brother-in-law, he urinated behind a large sign. I guess he couldn’t wait to use the bathroom inside the store, which was just inside the entrance.

While you can see men urinating in public places in the United States, they tend to me more discreet than the men in the Philippines. Perhaps it’s because more Filipinos drink in public. It’s illegal in many public places in the United States.

Urination, public or private, shouldn’t be a big deal. Especially with men, who can do it while standing. Other people make it a big deal. As long as it doesn’t reek of urine in a particular place, it shouldn’t bother anyone. Men and women should obviously be as discreet as they can be, even if it isn’t always possible. With children, it isn’t nearly as important. The younger they are, the less control they have over their bladders.

Photo Attribution: Peter & Laila from Philadelphia, USA / CC BY SA
Originally published at one of my other websites in August 2017.

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: August 13, 2020 (UTC)
Categories: Culture

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