Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dennis Sun


September-October 2013

Comfort room, rest room, lavatory, bathroom, powder room, wet closet, latrine, john, loo. Toilets are toilets even by any other name.

I don’t know why but I usually judge a house, a shop, a restaurant, a hotel and even a country by their toilet. If I go to a friend’s house, I know how clean their house is by looking at their toilet. I know how rich they are by the type of toilet paper they buy. When I go eat in a fancy restaurant, I always look forward to how they do the interior of their toilet. And if a restaurant doesn’t have the bidet shower connected to the toilet seat, I know they don’t care much for their customers. Restaurant owners should care not only what we put in our body but how we put things out, as well. Staying at hotels, I look forward to going to the toilet and see what amenities they give away. I always bring with me the small shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. Those were paid for anyway. During travel, I visit the airport toilets and see how clean and well maintained they are to gauge the development of the country. Do they smell? Are the facilities new? Does the janitor come in always to check? Public toilets will often tell you how rich a country is. We are so lucky in Japan the toilet paper rolls in public places seem endless in supply!

I was in Bangkok on vacation for this year’s summer vacation. While doing my own business inside the cubicle, I saw a sign while facing the door. It shows a sign on how not to sit on the toilet seat. Perhaps, many Thais still squat while doing their business inside.

This brings back memories about my life in the Philippines during college school and in the school dormitories. I never learned to sit on the toilet seat because there were no seat covers in the first place. So during that time, I squat. It is a shame to say but that’s the truth. Going further away in time in elementary and high school days, if I had to do No. 2, I would go back home and pretend I was sick. I could never do it in school then.

Living in Japan, I encountered my first experience with Japanese seatless toilets at my very own small apartment. At first, I was trying to figure out which direction I should face. Then, I was thinking whether to remove my jeans or not because it’s such a bother. And should I remove it, where will I hang it?

I know you’ve had your personal experience with the Japanese toilet. When a friend of mine visited me in Japan, I met her in a big train station in Tokyo fresh from the airport. When I showed her the toilet in the station, she came out and complained. I knew it was the seatless toilet again. But I was wrong. Actually, no seat was fine with her. Coming from Pinas, she was used to squatting already.  However, she complained and was looking for that missing “TABO” we all have at our homes! Oh, well! She just have to discover the high-tech shower
bidets later on!

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