Public urination is a rite of passage in any city. The tribulations, and eventual catharsis, speak a lot to the place you’re in: its culture, its infrastructure, and its cleanliness. Though the reason and location of one’s public peeing may differ on every occasion, they are normally coupled with a hilarity that is characteristic of the activity. These are some of my experiences.

Tokyo, 2010

Finding a place to relieve yourself on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo is quite the undertaking. Bars are packed and the streets are brimming with police trying to maintain order. We somehow found our way onto an abandoned rooftop and proceeded to break our seals. Yet our streams of ecstasy were met with shouts of anger and confusion. Under the seemingly nondescript pile of cardboard where we were emptying our tanks was one of Tokyo’s many homeless men. The relaxing waterfall-esque soundscape of our coordinated streams struck a sharp contrast to his bellows of fury. There is little you can do when you’re drunk with your pants down and a man starts chasing you, so we apologized profusely, bowed (it’s Japan after all), and ran.

Toronto, 2011

It was that time of year when everyone was running around campus doing things that can only be described as stupid. Ah yes, Frosh Week. It was an average enough night, but it became a night forever committed to my memory when my friend said he had to urinate near Trinity. I can’t explain it — it might have been the Frosh mentality, divine intervention, or just similar minds — but a smirk took hold of all our faces. We had to (before the sun came up) pee on all the colleges. It was a night when we drank not to get drunk, but to pee.


Stay up to date. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent straight to your inbox:

* indicates required