Saturday, February 28, 2015

oh . . . the toilets!

This very ultra modern country of Japan had some surprises in store. It is a country of opposites. It is extremely clean - no litter to be seen anywhere. Yet, there are no trash cans anywhere. You would see people picking up litter - other people's litter - and putting it in their pocket. I suppose everyone took home their garbage to dispose of at the end of the day. Also on the spectrum of opposites, many many people wore face masks. White surgical face masks. Germaphobes? maybe, but do you know what is missing in their whole entire country? soap at the sinks in their public bathrooms! Like 1 out of 10 bathrooms have soap dispensers. Weird. I ended up carrying my own. 
Also another extreme. Most bathrooms had all kinds of electronics and gadgets on the toilets - heated seats, bidets with several water and pressure settings, a button to turn on water sounds to mask out any human sounds I suppose. Then you'd go into another bathroom and be met with this! 

What??? The first one I encountered was in the Tokyo International Airport and I had a sudden worry that I wouldn't be able to use the bathroom for the next 2 1/2 weeks. I backed out of the bathroom and looked at Dave with a panic   "I . don't. even. know . . . . . ". Luckily, it was in an older section of the airport and we looked for another bathroom and then I discovered that some stalls have these (again, don't even know what they are called - squatters?) and some stalls have modern western style toilets.
Almost all the bathrooms come with instruction manuals posted on the walls. There are so many options, bells and whistles. And although there is most often no soap offered at the sinks, there is quite often a soap and towel systems that you can use for wiping the toilet seat before you use it. So the toilets you can clean, your hands you can't.   

 And of course it's always good to get a tutorial for basic toilet usage in general.

This one cracked me up. My take away from these signs are: If you have wide shoulders, use the blue bathroom. If you are fat or pregnant, use the red bathroom.

This one had no other instructions except "Push this Button".  And there were TWO choices! I was worried it was a panic button "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up"

And this little gem was in the ELEVATOR! It was a sign over a box installed in the corner of the elevator. Apparently you can sit and "have a little break" while you ride the elevator OR in the event of an emergency you can use the box for a toilet! And inside this little toilet you can also find drinking water, emergency light, toilet paper and deodorant!
 How many times have women gone into a bathroom and there is nowhere for baby while you do you business? All the stalls have baby seats. Dave was just disturbed that it faced the toilet. Who needs someone watching you?

I think this was one of my favorites though. Actually I'm not sure what this did, but I liked the illustration.  I think this one just had music in case you wanted to sit on the toilet fully clothed and read a book.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

I got a kick out of this post. What a very cool trip!