Let's go to the toilet! Western style!
This post was written Saturday evening. I feel the need to add this as some of my posts seem to be out of order, or I'm writing them one day and just not being able to post them until a day or two later.
I'm sure many of you have heard about the fancy toilets in Japan. I used one of them recently, and I thought I'd give a little bit of my thoughts.
Here I am, in the internet cafe, writing a post, when the urge comes. Not just a minor urge, either. In the words of Michael J Fox's character on Scrubs, I had to make. So I made for the cafe's bathroom and opened the door, and saw basically what you see here!
I forgot to bring my tissues. They hand them out on the street here as advertising materials (I'll show that some other time). But thankfully the bathroom was properly stocked. The seat was up, so I dropped it down, had a seat, and... wow! It was warm! Yup, the heated seats are just that!
Anyway, I did my business, and curiosity got the best of me. I can tell the difference between the pink and the blue buttons (which, by the way, were even better-labeled on this men's-only toilet), so I hit the blue and prepared myself mentally. Which you can think you're doing, but really, you can't possibly imagine what water shooting at your butt feels like if you haven't done it before! As with the seat, the water was pleasantly warm, and I suppose it did a good job of cleansing. I hit the stop button (which didn't say "stop" on it, although I figured it out when the water went on a bit longer than expected). I still needed the toilet paper to dry myself, and I didn't exactly check to see how clean it was afterwards. That's not my idea of a good time.
It's exciting because it's different, but still, the toilet was totally awesome. The heated seat alone makes fancy toilets worth whatever they cost.
By the way, toilets here have two flushes. One symbol represents a low-water flush for liquids, and the other a larger flush. The symbols are "small" (小) and "large" (大), and I tend to think about it like a person spreading their arms to represent a small flush (arms closer together) or a flush "THIS BIG!".
As for Japanese word progress, I haven't been working too much on this and I haven't had much of a chance. We went out tonight for ramen (oishii!) and I asked to be reminded about some of what Elizabeth taught me - itadakimasu (literally, I humbly receive) and gochiso sama deshita (desh'ta) (which means thank you for the meal). I haven't used oishii out loud yet, though nearly everything I've had so far fits the bill! As I said, I had a really thick-brothed (lots of flour?) ramen and fried rice combo meal for dinner tonight. Really, it was great! It certainly hit the spot after today's training.
There will be a whole other post devoted to more Western-style Japanese toilets at some point, but for now, I thought this would be a great experience to share as it was my first, and it's on my mind!
Now, to catch up on the 165 blog posts I haven't read from the past two days! Reading (and commenting) will be much easier when I can return to checking a few times per day instead of once every day or two.