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In Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, at some point one of the main characters - Thomas, that is a Czech doctor - in the house of one of his lovers decides to piss in the sink. The author says that this behavior was quite common among the Czech doctors in that period. Is this a real fact or not? Why? Does it have any particular meaning in this book?

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    You clean your sink much more often than you clean your toilet. Especially if you're a doctor. You also clean your hands much more often than you clean your bottom. Also, especially if you're doctor. Pissing in the sink also makes much less noise. But I'll let somebody else answer this one, because I am not that familiar with Kundera's opus. Oh and also: In critical, war situations when there are many wounded, the doctor might not have time to properly go to the bathroom and then return to the surgery room. Solution: Piss in the sink, clean your hands, clean the sink later. – jo1storm May 29 '18 at 6:06
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Peeing in the sink is a metaphor for having a mistress. And it was indeed quite common among Czech doctors of that period.

Let me explain. Urine is, by itself, sterile. But it is also resource rich environment for growth of bacteria. If you leave it for a short time then clean it up, nothing bad will happen. If you don't... it festers, bacteria grow and it gets nasty.

Now, when the child is potty trained for the first time, the sink is far too high for peeing in. By the time child is of enough height for that to be viable, the habit is ingrained. Toilet is for peeing in, sink is not. There is nothing by itself morally wrong in peeing in the sink. It is not inherently good or evil act. It is chaotic and not lawful one, but good or evil? No. It just makes us uncomfortable. Being highly educated, the doctor knows that fact. He also knows all the consequences of peeing in the sink (if you watched the show "Breaking bad", there's similar scene with Walter White).

The same goes with marriage. Most of us are taught as children that we will marry one person and be with that person for the rest of our lives. Mistress/ side lover doesn't get into that rosy picture. Uneducated people do not think about having a mistress. It is simply not done. Even if they do have one, they do not usually think about all the possible consequences.

Now, the metaphor. Being educated, the doctor doesn't think about obeying all the norms of society just because they are norms. Somebody says: "It is simply not done." the doctor says "Why? Why not? If you clean it up afterwards, it is perfectly viable alternative. During the war, we did it all the time. You just didn't have the time to go to the toilet, with all those wounded so it was either that or pissing your pants and sink is much easier to clean than the pants." and if someone would bring it up "Did you know that doctor So and So pissed in the sink yesterday?" the others would say "We all did it at least once, we had to. Now shut up. You just don't speak about those things." and the same could be said about another man having a lover. The doctor did it for convenience, because he felt like it and because he knew all the consequences of his actions and chose to do them anyway.

If somebody else has different interpretation, please correct me.

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