Something I will never understand is the design of the German toilet. I've seen hundreds upon hundreds of German toilets. I've seen them with pull handles, push buttons, levers with stops, and levers without stops. I've seen them in airports, trainstations, trains, hotels, schools, houses, dorms. But, the one thing they (almost) universely have in common is: the inspection plate

It's nothing sinister, as Dannye fears. Germans eat a lot of raw and almost-raw meat, indeed the word delicatessen, a shop that sells among other things, meat products to be eaten raw, is German. The shelf is to allow an individual to check themselves for evidence of parasites. It is a sensible precaution, since as we were taught at school, worms can propogate by eggs getting from the anus onto fingers during use of the toilet, then if the hand is not thoroughly washed, the next victim gets the parasite orally after the eggs have been passed on by preparing food or even touching something like a plate. The egg will pass through the digestive system and lodge in the lower intestine where it will eventually hatch into a parasite and begin producing eggs of its own.

It is of course possible that this has an effect on the stereotypical German: that they are obsessed with inspecting things for cleanliness, order and efficiency. Sigmund Freud, another German, coined the term anal retentive to describe an individual who is preocupied with details, a characteristic often associated with Germans.