Faraway: Get Out of Your World
For Toilet Lovers Only
Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to get out of your world. Take a trip to your local library. Step inside and find an oasis of calm. Head to the travel section. Look for the travel writers’ shelf. Scan the top of the book spines until you come across “Traveler’s Tales”. This series of true-life stories from travelers the world over will fuel the wanderlust in your soul - and - will prepare you for the nuances of travel that an ordinary guidebook cannot do.
If I hadn’t read “Travelers’ Tales - Japan” prior to my first trip there fifteen years ago, I would not have known anything about one of the most important items of business that all travelers abroad must be informed of - what will the toilets be like? The chapter on this most sensitive subject had me falling off my chair in laughter, and at the same time, schooling me on the use of the Japanese computerized toilets known as “Washlets” a.k.a. shower toilets. If you’ve never encountered one, here is an amusingly good article in Slate that will tell you all you need to know.
After three trips to Japan, I am now convinced that they have the answer to best practices in sanitation. If you’re interested in switching out your American toilet for an advanced Washlet, here is a link to Japan’s main manufacturer, TOTO.
Here’s a video which is more entertainment than one would think could come from a toilet demonstration. If you can get past the goofy co-hosts, there’s a Japanese saleswoman who adroitly describes the environmental and health benefits of having a Washlet in your home.
Here’s a link to the Travelers’ Tales website where you can find all their great publications which are guaranteed to take you out of your world.