Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let's Talk Toilets

As a final reflection on Japan, I’d like to highlight theirexcrement receivers.

First and foremost, the defecation destinations are gearedtoward utter and complete privacy. The Japanese have a conservative nature that filters throughout theirculture and is especially prevalent in the potty palaces.

There are two main throne designs.  In the parks and more rugged locations, the toilets are madefor squatting.  They are basicallya female urinal, and what I would describe as a first-world hole in theground.  During “business time” youhave to try really hard not to sprinkle your shoes.

The second design is a top-notch, button-filled,heated-seat, technologically advanced creation that makes you feel like you’reenjoying your pressure-relieving solace via robot.  There is a button for flushing.  There is a button for cleaning – bidet-style.  There is a button for lady-cleansing andone to stop any buttons you’ve started. And, finally, there is a little button with a music note on it.  You can control the volume of thisfeature depending on your bio-volume.

When we asked about that last button, we were told that itplays free-jazz to counter the noises that one might make while nature calls,but it’s actually just a constant flushing sound effect that covers up anythingyou’re doing in Tinkle Town.

The irony that I find in how much privacy is needed in thebathrooms is the fact that if you go to a Japanese bath, you are stripped downand required to bathe under a bucket in front of a camera that a little grandmawatches and yells at you if you do anything wrong, then head out in nothing butwhat God gave you and share a hot spring with a new set of friends also intheir birthday suits.

All joking aside, I loved Japan.  The people were fantastically friendly and so kind andhelpful.  The food was delicious,albeit a tad weird and tentacle-ly at times.  I would highly recommend going to Japan.  It’s relatively easy to get around withminimal Japanese, but if you’re going to come, find yourself a local friend ora guide because those are the people that will lead you to really experienceeach city’s finest details.