Day 32 – My one true love

17 Oct

So after almost a thousand words about opera, I’ve decided to return to writing about my one true love.

...and hopefully we'll be together forever.

I going to buy two toilets while I’m here in Germany. Well, one and a half to be exact. See, I was over here last year and I bought one of those wall toilets where the cistern is enclosed in the wall and not sitting on the floor like we have in Canada. I like this style because they are much easier to clean and they take up less space.

It was a bit of a nightmare to get both parts (the cistern and the bowl) from the Obi in Siegburg to the airport in Frankfurt (about one hundred and fifty kilometers). Some of the passengers on the train seemed a bit annoyed by the amount of space I was taking up, but when we arrived at FRA I managed to get everything out of the car without disrupting the natural order of things (I hope). Then there was a bit of running around at the airport to find the over-sized luggage area – plus I had to pay an extra $50.

When I arrived in Ottawa the cistern was intact but the bowl part had broken. This is the half I need to buy on this trip. The full toilet is going to be for the second-floor bathroom. As I mentioned previously I came up with a design that I like and I hope it works out.

So before I start on this project I have to see if it all makes sense financially and logistically – I need to look at all the costs. I hope you’re sitting comfortably because it’s going to be a long ride. Here are the factors to consider:

1. Cost of an equivalent item in Canada (from

Concealed Toilet Carrier Frame (1)
Wall Mount Toilet Bowl (2)
Flush Actuator Plate (1)
Toilet Seat and Cover (2)
Total $1 150 CAN (approx.)

This includes a one-time cost of $100 drive to to the USA to collect the product (stupid Amazon does not ship toilets to Canada). It also assumes free shipping.

2. Cost of purchasing it over here.

Same list as above is $730 CAN (approx.) – This includes a $70 shipping fee and VAT refund. Does not include re-packaging costs.

This would be a total savings of approximately $420 CAN – subject to change.

That's some strange-looking German

3. Variables that need to be quantified

– The previously-mentioned prices will change between now and Christmas. To get the final cost I need to re-evaluate the exchange rates closer to purchase time.
– How difficult is it to get a VAT refund at the airport? And for that matter, what is the German VAT? I found something online that said 19%. I wonder if the whole thing gets refunded.
– Will they do the refund in Berlin? I’m flying home via Frankfurt – does this make a difference? With a fifty-five minute connection time I won’t be able to do anything in FRA except run to the gate.
– I’m flying on two different airlines – Lufthansa (AC code-share) from Berlin to Frankfurt and then Air Canada to Ottawa. They should check my luggage all the way through so I’m not too worried about this.
– What do I need to do at the store to register my purchase for the VAT refund?
– How am I going to get all this gear from the Obi to the airport in Berlin?
– How am I going to package the items so that they do not get damaged in transit?
– I heard that the items you purchase have to be sealed by the store. I’m not sure why this is but this might make re-packaging difficult.
– Plus the repackaging itself is going to take time and money – right now I’m thinking sheets of Styrofoam and duct tape. This would have easily saved the previous toilet.
– There are weight and size restrictions for checked luggage – max 23 kg and 156 cm total perimeter (length + width + depth). If they give me a hard time I might just encase everything in a spherical-shaped container.
– I’m going to need someone with a car to collect me from the airport in Ottawa – normally I would just take the bus.
– This is all going to be in late December – snow might be a factor.

I’m going to do some recon tonight. I have to pick up a friend at the airport and I’m going to get there early to try and answer some of these questions. Full report tomorrow.

End transmission.

4 Responses to “Day 32 – My one true love”

  1. Bravo October 17, 2011 at 17:45 #

    ahahaha! Jason….beer, wine, chocolate, coffee, even girls, but no TOILET….. Who is going back in his country with that ?
    If you really like it, maybe a big poster of toilet next to Jonh mcClane will be a great idea – Or John McClane sit on toilet??
    Then you could admire your both true loves at the same time. 😀

  2. loosy October 19, 2011 at 09:28 #

    I don’t know much about toilets, but as a Berliner, I’d have taken the TXL bus directly from Spandauer Straße/Marienkirche or one of the next stops in order to avoid having to change vehicles so much (esp. if you or your visitors have luggage). 😉

  3. loosy October 19, 2011 at 09:28 #

    Also I think that all TXL-busses have that amount of luggage space, not sure about the other bus-numbers going to Tegel, though.


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