Some convenient truths
Back to toilet talk. There’s a need to get to the ‘bottom’ of a few issues.
The remote control mentioned in an earlier post has nothing to do with the flush, but everything to do with comfort, personal hygiene and covering one’s embarrassment. Reading the instructions and what to do in case of malfunction, it became clear that going to the loo in Japan requires a first degree in electronics.
You may not be able to read the above, but I think you understand what I mean.
To quote from the instructions, two of the functions are either for sprinkling your rear, or bidet-ing your rear. Quite what the difference is, is not immediately clear, but I looked down the bowl and where the jets came from was not clear either.
A third button was mysteriously labelled “sound”, but I happen to know it’s relevance (and you may too). The Japanese, apparently, and ladies in particular, so hate to be labelled as guilty of making the natural plops and tinkles of toilet-going, that there is now a national standard in toilet design that includes a button for creating flushing sounds to mask those embarrassing natural noises. The only trouble is that if you hear the artificial sounds coming from someone’s cubicle, we all know they are guilty anyway…..so we can either chuckle about them, or tease them mercilessly when they come out.
The national obsession stretches to footwear as well. We all know that when you enter a Japanese home, you kick off your footwear and either don some slippers or go in your socks. Well, those same slippers must not be worn in the toilet, because the toilet is unhygenic. No, you kick off your house slippers and put on some special toilet slippers which are always left by the door of the toilet.
You might say that answering the call of nature becomes one of the many unusual cultural experiences that Japan has to offer.