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Don’t you love the smell of stale urine in the morning!


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Do you have your own gripe with your local or state government? And what are the streets like in your part of town, in your home state?

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There's nothing like the stench of stale urine punching you in the face on the way to work.

I'd been away for a week in a second-world country, surrounded by the smells of an unfamiliar culture -- not always pleasant, but better than the stink of stale urine.

Public urination is a serious problem in Perth.

Public urination is a serious problem in Perth. What about in your city? Picture: Shutterstock

 I arrived back in Perth at 6am on Saturday, returning directly to the office to pick up my car and go out for breakfast before hitting the sack. The taxi dropped me at the William St entry to the Murray St Mall, and as I alighted the vehicle I was confronted by a group of aggressive, drunken men pushing and shoving each other -- a feature of Perth that I had not missed while away.

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To retrieve my car from the underground garage, I had to walk down an alley next to the building. I was immediately assaulted by the smell of stale urine first thing in the morning. My eyes told me that I was in a Perth CBD alleyway, while my nose told me that i was in a third-world untreated sewage plant.

I immediately thought of Robert Duval in the movie Apocalypse Now, announcing to his troops: ''I love the smell of napalm in the morning.'' Except that I was not in a movie, I was not in Vietnam and there was nothing to love about the smell of stale urine (not that I have ever smelt napalm).

Later in the day I returned to park my car and go to the office to catch up on the work I couldn't complete while I was away. This time I was greeted by an even staler stench of smell of urine -- it having ripened in the sun -- and a woman having a cigarette away from the gaze of her employer, while breathing in more than lung-poisoning nicotine. Who knows what breathing in stale urine fumes for seven minutes does to a human being.

When I walked past her, she commented on the stench and suggested that it was an outcome of the Australia Day celebrations the day and night before, including the fireworks show. Later, one of my work colleagues suggested that on a big night like January 26, when the city was crowded, our neighbouring alley became the ''Perth public toilet block''.

This left me wondering where the public toilets are in Perth. There may be some, but I have no idea where they are. I have no idea where the people without an office or residence in Perth go to relieve themselves.

Amsterdam's public urinals are keeping its streets clean.

Amsterdam's public urinals are keeping its streets clean. Picture: Shutterstock

 Can anyone tell me? Where are the public conveniences in the City of Perth? Do other Australian cities have adequate public conveniences that are well known to people who need them?

From the way, it is not just men who use the alley in question as a urinal. I have seen women using it for that same purpose --  often more discretely and with a lookout, but with the same outcome? And for anyone who may think this behaviour is ethnically based, let me assure you it is not. There are no evident ethnic patterns or  demographic factors influencing who uses this alley as a public toilet.

Does any one think this behaviour is acceptable?

Does anyone else out there find the smell of stale urine offensive?

Have people had similar experiences in other Australian cities?

Does anyone have any idea why the City of Perth will not address this issue? 

C'Mon, share your thoughts here. We'd love to know.

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