Emma T. Gaskell

PeeBack Time

St. Pauli residents fight back against public pissing

That moment when there is a long line to the toilets and you need to pee, not in a few minutes but right, this, second. Okay, for the social event goers, the occasional slip outside between the cars or around the corner in an alley way is understandable. But when this becomes a common occurrence and is in the same location, it causes issues.


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Hamburg, Germany. The home of the second largest harbour in Europe as well as the most well known area of St. Pauli, the Reeperbahn, which (fun fact) is proven to be The Beatles original jam location.

For those who are not familiar with Reeperbahn, it's Europe's largest red light district and receives approximately 20 million visitors a year to it's bustling, arcade like streets. It displays, in a somewhat immodest way, an array of strip clubs, brothels, bars and nightclubs along it's congested street. Not surprisingly, the area is especially known for it's nightlife and has been described as " Times Square on Acid..."

Of course, when so many people attend these night clubs, bars, etc. the availability of certain services can come up short handed. Toilets, usually being the first service compromised. The night goers of Reeperbahn have proven many times over that the lack of toilets are no obstacle to pissing. Instead they take to the neighboring streets and buildings to relieve their bladders.

Residents of St. Pauli are now taking charge and fighting back against the extensive public urination. Walls in the district have been covered with Ultra-Ever Dry, a super-hydrophobic, oleophobic nano-coating, which is water (and pee) repellent. It is so repellent that urinating on a treated surface becomes a shoe-wetting, trouser-soaking exercise, making an almost symmetrical rebound line with the original stream of pee.

If you find yourself in St. Pauli and in need of a pee, think twice - not every wall is marked with a warning sign.