While the not yet formed Dutch government is getting ready to present their non-budget on Prinsjesdag, the day the budget is presented after the monarch gives a speech and women wear fancy hats — non-budget because we haven’t had a government since March and there is no budget — the country is being subjected to a story about a woman who was fined 140 euro for peeing in the street in downtown Amsterdam after hours. If a man was caught doing this, it just wouldn’t be news.
Taking a wee in an alley after the bars closed and no public bathroom in sight, the woman was fined for doing something illegal and getting caught – check. The case took two years to get to court, and 50 euro was knocked off the fine because it took too long – check. There are 35 urinals in downtown Amsterdam, only three public bathrooms for women, the closest of which was 2 km from Leidseplein (there’s an app for that!), one of the major pub districts – deemed sexist.
The woman says the fine was ‘sexist’, fought the fine and lost, and now the entire country’s talk shows are discovering yet another thing that does not cater to women. She even quoted Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights that protects from discrimination. “There was absolutely no alternative to pee in the proper place, but if I had been a man, there would have been.” Nope, the bar she had just left wouldn’t let her back in and it was too far to wait to get home. Remember, men just go pee in an alley and that’s socially acceptable without further scrutiny.
Installing public toilets should be a simple fix, you can even charge for them like at train stations, which means women yet again have to fork out more to pee than men, but it would at least have been an alternative. The male judge said ‘you could have peed in a urinal’, which surprised everyone, and even agreed with her that not having enough places to pee for women is sexist, which puts the blame on the city for not catering to women. To be continued.
(Links: ad.nl, nrc.nl)
Tags: Amsterdam, fine, sexism, urine, women
Some 23,000 litres of urine were collected at three locations during King’s Day in Amsterdam this year in order to make phosphate fertiliser. The urinals were placed at the Nassau Festival, Kingsland and in Vondelpark, and the old 1928 Olympic Stadium collected some urine as well. The urine was then brought to a phosphate factory in Amsterdam-West.
By collecting urine in urinals where no additional water is used, the urine stays ‘pure’. The phosphate is needed to produce fertiliser, which is apparently becoming increasingly more difficult to acquire from natural sources, so much so that urine may one day be the only solution.
And so the urine produced after – I’m just guessing here! – the drinking of quite a bit of beer by men is being turned into manure. Phosphate in Amsterdam has been collected from sewage since 2013, enough to fertilise some 10,000 football pitches.
(Link: nos.nl, photo: urilift)
Tags: fertiliser, fertilizer, King's Day, manure, pee, phosphate, urine
This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.
The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.
I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.
Tags: dogs, urine, Zoetemeer
Theo, 32, from Eindhoven has been peeing against buildings for half his life, but does it creatively by making eagles. The art is of course ephemeral and apparently peeing the claws is tough.
Theo says the eagle is a strong symbol, something that reminds him of Germany, while it reminds me and probably others of the United States or Russia. He usually aims (ha pun) to make the German 2 euro coin (the 1 euro has the same eagle), but he says that he is usually drunk and it looks like a peacock or a seagull.
Peeing on walls is illegal in the Netherlands, and Theo got caught once in Tiel. The cop did let him finish because he appreciated the artistic value. Follow Theo’s pee eagles on Instagram.
(Link: www.vice.com, Photo: supertheo6000# (Theo) on Instagram)
Tags: eagle, Eindhoven, pee, urine