Monday, July 8, 2013

Public Urination

Filipinos (the men) pretty much pee anywhere they want. Walking down the street, one will quite often see a guy with his back turned to the road, peeing against the wall.

The text on the right says
"Don't dump garbage." The left
I'm not sure of, but the
illustration seems clear enough.
In terms of social class, it appears that the practice is pretty nearly universal (though I don’t imagine the Ayalas or President Aquino do it). The gym I go to is in a compound that includes tennis courts. I assume that anybody playing tennis in the Philippines is middle-class or above (and their cars support that assumption) and those guys will periodically wander off to the nearby bushes to empty their bladders (despite there being restrooms fairly nearby). The difference I’ve noted is that the higher one’s social status, the more discreet one is – the cab drivers just pee by the side of the road, the tennis players use the bushes.

I’ve only once seen a woman peeing on the street – she was squatting over a sewer grate. Whether other women use bushes as a screen, I don't know.

This one is on the fence outside a private school. Since
peeing there would involve exposing oneself to the kids,
I hope the sign is obeyed.
Occasionally one sees ‘no urinating’ signs. These two are near my apartment. I don’t know how effective they are.

The second sign is partly in English, which made me wonder whether the neighborhood Kanos have begun adopting local practices.

Some expats are prone to preach to anyone who makes a negative comment that "We must respect the local culture and adapt to it." Next time one of those self-righteous jerks starts that, I'll ask him if he's started peeing in the street yet.

For the record, I haven't, but I guess that shows how disrespectful I am of Filipino culture.

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