Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ode de la Toilet

It has been a very interesting couple of days. In Tokyo My Sweet and I spent time visiting an old friend as well as my sister-in-law. Our friend took us out for the real deal sushi, not the “California knock-off” version. He took us to an all you can eat place, for which I was terribly underdressed, that made everything fresh right when you order the next round. I know for many of you all-you-can-eat-sushi will mean an empty plate, but trust me when I say it was delicious. Our friend then accommodated my whim and took me to the place where they filmed part of a great reality show - the Amazing Race.

I know this is indelicate, but I must talk about something that everyone must deal with eventually on their journey to Japan. That, my friends, is the high tech toilet. In America I feel like I am in the shadow of Bill Gates if the toilet flushes automatically. That is a child’s elementary science project here. Not only do the toilets shoot up warm water to wash you backwards and forwards, but they also can blow you dry. There are ones that even have a button to push for a running water sound – thus being able to mask the business you were doing.

At the sushi restaurant, I ventured into the ladies’ room to do my business. After sitting down I spend some time reading the directions by the toilet paper. By reading I mean staring at the characters and pictures hoping something will magically come to me. Once in a while, this being an international metropolis, they’ll throw me an English bone. There could be a line like “Please wipe seat” next to some tissue and a picture of a well manicured hand wiping down the seat, and of course a cute little cherub hovering by it. The next picture is the cherub next to another facet (located near the paper) and the word “Push” with motion lines showing something (probably disinfectant) shooting out to the tissue held by Ms. Manicure. However, the cupid is positioned in a way that the product looks like Cupid’s fart. Now I do not know if it explains it or not, but I have a relatively important question: do I wipe the seat before or after I am done?
There are many other signs and buttons, some of which probably do the cool water sounds, or heck maybe even bird calls or Bing Crosby, but I was too nervous to try them for fear of accidentally hitting some kind of panic button that would send an assistant or manager in to see what was wrong.
Well, I finished what I had to do, got up and then panicked a bit – no automatic flush! Looking around I saw no visible handle to push! Oh my gosh – I did not want the next patron to have to see the business I had done! What to do? Well, out of some deduction and a lot of desperation, I pushed a button and was quite relieved to hear the toilet actually flush. There goes my business down the drain.

What adventure will tomorrow bring?

Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!


doodah! said...

Girlfriend! You made me LOL for reals! Loud. Mojito is in her room with the door closed and heard me. Bing Crosby. I take back what I said on the previous post - *THIS* is the writing you were born to do.

I think the warm water squirting up to wash me would freak me out.

sunshine said...

i thought using a hole in the gound was a challenge. i didn't consider the difficulties of high-tech.