Monday, July 3, 2017

Doing your business

There are so many great things I could write about our trip to Japan but today I'm going to focus on toilets. Yep, you read that right, this whole entry is about toilets!   Arguably, Japan has the greatest toilets in the entire world. It's really one of the things that I will miss the most about being on the other side of the world. 

Like most children, as soon as we stepped off of the plane from our glorious 13 hour flight, Emma needed to use the bathroom.  We located the nearest bathroom and Emma rushed into the stall. I heard her yell, " MOM!  You've got to see this toilet!"  The Japanese lady in the bathroom started laughing and asked if she had ever been to Japan.  I responded with a laugh and an obvious no.  Emma continued to go on and on from behind the stall door about how many buttons this toilet had.  Finally it was my turn to go.  I entered the stall and this is what awaited me. 
You see, this sucker has an entire control panel!  It really is overwhelming at first.  There are options for everything!  This particular model isn't even one of the fancy ones.  During our time in Japan I encountered toilets with lots of options.  Almost every toilet had a "privacy" option which means your toilet makes rainforest type sounds to cover up any sounds that your bum make when you're doing your business.  There were bidet options for both your backside and your lady bits.  You could also control the flow at which the bidet squirted your parts.  The fancy toilets had a drying option that would blow you bits dry after some bidet action.  The really fancy toilets has a heated seat feature, not really necessary in the summer but cool nonetheless.  Now,  I remind you that these are PUBLIC toilets so everyone gets to enjoy all the cool features.  Sometimes the toilets even had a futuristic control panel on the wall to display all of their glorious options and in case you were overwhelmed, they had instructions which were in both Japanese and English! 
Going to the bathroom in Japan was a good time in and of itself but going to the bathroom with your 5 year old son in tow is extra special!  Most of the time the women's bathroom is cleaner than the men's so my littlest Rosebush likes to tag along with me.  I usually let him do his business and then wait while I do mine.  Little Rosebush poops a lot,  like 3 times a day.  TMI, I know but hey, you're already reading a blog about toilets so what the heck.  He sat down to do his business and like every curious little boy he started pushing toilet buttons.  He squirted himself in the butt and squealed with fright.  "What the heck?  The toilet just squirted water on my butt!"   I explained to him that was a feature that some people like and he said that he absolutely did not.    He finished his business and then it was my turn.  As I used the bathroom my little guy pushed every button on the wall.  I got squirted in all the unmentionables while my little guy just laughed.  Good times! 

We got used to the fancy pants toilets in most public bathrooms but occasionally, you would run into a bathroom that was a little old school to say the least. 
This my friends is called a squat toilet.  It's basically exactly what it look like, a porcelain hole on the floor that you are expected to pee (or even worse) into.  Now, I wasn't particularly excited about this idea but it drove Emma to tears.  She was so freaked out by this that she actually cried.  She was so nervous about peeing on her pants.  Apparently my kid is a city girl who has never peed in the woods!  It took about 10 minutes of coaching and a demonstration to convince her that she could do it.    After a mild anxiety attack she finally used the bathroom and no pants or shoes were harmed.  Thank goodness she just had to pee!  Squatty Potties  as I called them were really not my favorite because lets face it, I don't like to be any closer to a public bathroom floor than is absolutely necessary.  Emma wanted to experience Japanese culture while we were in Japan and it doesn't get more Japanese than this! 
It's a little disappointing to come back to the USA and the fanciest toilet we have is one that flushes itself.   Farewell Japanese toilets, until we meet again! 

1 comment:

  1. LOL What a remarkable experience that must have been. Will be loking forward to the many differences you must have encountered over there. Glad you all had a good time