Tuesday, February 01, 2005

More about toilets

The funky drummer is complaining about Japanese toilets, and even has a picture up so that you can sympathize more effectively. Well, I have a message for the funky drummer:

You obviously have not been here long enough, or at least not as long as I have. I am now capable of squatting with my feet flat, no balance problems, perfectly comfortable, and reading a book for twenty minutes if necessary (which it can be if I've been eating too much mochi).

Practice, man, practice!

One day I'm going to be one of those old ladies who congregate in doorways catching up on gossip, all squatting flat-footedly with their knees under their chins and their knickers showing, waving their arms around. And how much more integrated can you get than THAT? It doesn't matter how many Kanji you know. If you can't squat it doesn't mean a thing. You're out of the loop. Nobody is going to tell you about Tanaka-san's granddaughter's best friend's older sister's abortion while you're towering over them like that.

(The only time I can't squat is when I'm wearing bulky sweatpants, which tend to bunch up around the backs of my knees and cut off circulation. This can lead to a 'stand up and fall over' problem which is inadvisable in a Japanese-style toilet cubicle. Concussion plus foot-in-toilet is not a pleasant combination, particularly if you haven't flushed yet.)


Mike said...

I spent a week in Japan once and had tremendous difficulties with those damn "toilets". The two times I had to use them were an exciting adventure. I recall trying to fish out one of those kleenex samples that are passed out on the streets of Tokyo out of my pocket while squatting there because there was no toilet paper.

Oh, fond vacation memories.

The Funky Drummer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Funky Drummer said...

Well, I take my hat off to you madam, though I haven't been here long, I don't see myself ever relishing time spent on the JWC, no matter how long I stay. Give me a comfy throne any day.

Anonymous said...

when I blogged about cats using the toilet, someone told me that their cat used one of THOSE. ;^)


Badaunt said...

Mike: The trick is to have the tissues ready BEFORE you squat.

Funky Drummer: I have to admit I've always been more comfortable sitting on the floor than in a chair, even before I came to Japan. Even as I type this, in a chair, I'm sitting with one leg tucked under me and my chin is resting on the other knee.

And I should also admit that The Man, who is Japanese, prefers sit-down toilets to squat. So it's not just you.

Badaunt said...

I'd like to see a cat using one - do you know if it tried to 'cover up' afterwards?

I once had a cat who decided that on rainy days she did NOT want to go outside, so she used the basin in the bathroom. (Just for No.1, not No.2.) I didn't teach her this, but I caught her at it one day, and she was hilarious. She peed straight down the plughole, and then went round in circles trying to 'cover' it. She looked a bit puzzled about where it had gone.

I tossed some antiseptic cleaner down after she'd finished and decided not to worry about it. She could have chosen far worse spots.