Sunday, October 7, 2007

Japan: Lesson two. Toileting

I did not anticipate this being a lesson.I had done my research and I had a plan.I would tackle the problem in the Tokyo airport. Turns out in the airport you are given a choice: Western or Japanese style. (They break us in gently.) I chose the japanese style,patted myself on the back for bravery and stepped in ready to go. The toilet is just a shallow trench on the floor, oblong; but not what you think. The hole goes ACROSS the stall. In addition on one end there is a .... hump. It is as if there is half an empty walnut shell sitting there. So I wondered; which way does ol` one eye go? I tried both ways. What was most weird about it all; I was sideways in the stall. I decided to use the walnut shell as a "backsplash" and wa la it was done. Until the coins fell out of my pocket. Damn. I read about this. I gave Japan the 250 yen. I think it is a conspiracy. Then came the flush. It was so weird to watch a toilet flush sideways across the ..... floor. No swirl,no rim,no protection. I mean, what if you had a wild one? No wonder they take their shoes off at the door. Luckily I had a long wait for the bus at the airport so I got to pratice this ritual several times. I got relatively comfortable with the whole thing and was ready for my stay in Japan. By the time I got to Anne`s apartment it was late. We did the chit chat thing and then they showed me my bed and the toilet. I looked in. Hot damn! A western style toilet. They head to bed and I head to the bathroom. I sit down. I notice the toilet seat is warm. Very warm. That`s when I remembered. Japanese take their western style automated toilets very seriously. Yes I said automated. And the automation can be sophisticated. Very sophisticated. I got nervous. I sighed. I slowly turned to the wall on my right.I looked up. It looked like NASA control center. All in Japanese. I got more nervous. I looked down. Another panel. CHIT! I count the options. Thirty one buttons! Two readable screens. I stand up. I remember some of those options and I`m not having it. I back away, I pause, close one eye and begin pushing. First button; nothing happens. I wondered what I missed. I feel lucky. I push another. I hear wind chimes but get no flush. Next button; I hear a flush but don`t get one. I look for clues and notice the control panel opens. I pull up the flap. Pictures! Fan spray. Narrow spray. Jet spray. Interesting. Air dry. Air dry? Oh my gawd; air dry. I give up and go to bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You funny womyn.
That one left me with visuals I won't soon forget ! :-)
- Judy