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Tuesday, May 30

The Disgusting Post… or Important Instructions for the Facilities... You Decide

Please recall that I have not been there yet, but I am reading as many books as possible to prepare myself for what I will find in my new country. There is one thing I have repeatedly read about that disturbs me more than others. The toilets.

In every book or website, someone always has something to say about the toilets. At first, I rather scoffed at their descriptions. I actually felt a little surprised that they were making such a big deal out of this. And then… I saw a picture.

The fear took over. I mean, really… how does one keep their pants dry? Does one switch to full-time skirt usage perhaps? Or just launder a whole heck of a lot more?

The information provided in my most knowledgeable books describes the facility as basically a hole in the floor. Doesn’t sound so bad to someone that comes from the country of Jiffy Johns. You don’t touch those, I’m sure! Or any toilet for that matter! Let’s be honest… we all use our foot if there is lack of automatic flushing going on. So why would you want to touch a toilet there? And wouldn’t the lower bowl be much more helpful in not giving you Charlie horses when having to get your leg lifted into the origami positions that those small quarters only allow?

This weekend I came across some better information. Directions on the usage. Shouldn’t they hang those on the wall? Or perhaps make a folded purse size sample for you to carry along? I guess the Japanese are smarter than us as they just expect us to know what to do in there. But since we are not all that smart, I give you the directions for proper bodily drainage in the Japanese toilet:

Step 1. If you are at home, please remember to remove your house slippers and put on your toilet slippers. These come in many colorful, latex varieties! Handy, don’t you think? But what does one do in a public toilet with open-toed sandals? I hate to think.

Step 2. Don’t bother with a stall door because I am just not sure there is one. I really hope the holes aren’t too close to one another. I would really hate to be cheek-to-cheek with anyone I wasn’t on more than a first name basis with. It has been indicated that some places there are unisex facilities. Wh…wh…what?! How do you not catch a spray from the man next to you using a urinal? Try not to go at peak times? Onto step 2.


Step 4. Face the wall and squat. In some places, I hear there are even different colored tiles to show you were to place your feet so as not to get wet toes-ies.

Step 5. Business as usual! Hope you got some strong legs if you feel like taking your time. And please be careful not to miss. No one wants to stare at that after you have exited.

Step 6. TP. Oh wait… there is none! It’s totally a BYOTP kind of place. Be warned. I did read that there are some places that have TP vending machines. Please do not ask anyone if they can spare a square. I think in a society where politeness and proper behavior reign supreme, this could be considered in poor taste. I do suggest a large purse, ladies, to carry your own Charmin. And gentlemen, shall we debate the man purse?

Step 7. Flush. Use your slippered foot and press the handle down. I shouldn’t even have to go this far explaining this step.

Step 8. Pants up and you are on your way.

Don’t forget to wash your hands though! I hear that the Japanese have come a long way in the handling of their private business. One read described a water recycling toilet. “Handwashing water collects in tank, then is used to flush the toilet.” Now that is sanitary and compact, people, or what?! No time to use a sink? Use the toilet!

I have also read that there are new fancy commodes that have a variety of electronic buttons to use for freshening the bowl and yourself. Let’s all hope that the buttons include pretty pictures or there may be unpleasant surprises.

Please don’t forget to remove your toilet slippers and return your feet to your house slippers. You don’t want to be traipsing around your house in those nasty, little suckers.

Now that I have put the fear of God into those who plan on coming to visit, please rest assured that any home I choose will include Western style accommodations. We are way too American to not have sitable toilets. And satellite TV! I just want to prepare you as best as I can. Because… isn’t that what friends are for?

Wishing you much success in our future lavatory!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think my mother who has had a hip replacement would have a difficult time using this....ugh...

coming from a people who can turn a camera a walkman a watch and a phone into one device you would think they could invent a "chair where you can do your busines while in the seated position" what a novel idea?

I think it may stem from there goal to be overly efficient, they don't want people hanging around reading newspapers or taking a light afternoon nap while on company time...

Also based on yesterdays disccusion, D/UW that is bought and sold must be pretty D...GROSS!