Sunday, February 4, 2007

Nihon-go Dekimasen, Gomen-Nasai

Always a good idea to learn how to say “I’m sorry, I don’t speak your language” wherever you go. I had to use that phrase to remind the flight attendants on ANA a couple times . . .

Culture shock is setting in already. One of my colleagues here in Tokyo recommended I take the “Airport Limousine” from Narita to my hotel, and he did warn me that “it is not a limousine.”

At least it’s the friendly kind.

“Airport Limousines” aside, the first thing you notice when you arrive in Japan are the ubiquitous vending machines.

With little street crime to speak of, these things just don’t get broken in to, so they’re everywhere. The drinks with the blue line beneath them are cold, and the red ones are hot. You can buy all kinds of stuff from vending machines in Japan, but the ones with these kinds of beverages are the most common.

Then you go to visit the restroom and it’s the most confusing experience of your life.

Toilets have control panels here, you have to get used to that. Good thing this one came with instructions on how to use the “Equipment to cleansing the buttocks with warm water.”

Despite what they’re telling you, it’s not the buttocks that gets cleansed, it’s what’s between them. I’ll spare you the details, but man, are these things accurate with their aim. At least in this particular restroom, at Narita Airport, there’s an emergency switch just in case the apparatus goes haywire.

That’s just what you need when the buttocks cleaning mechanism has you by the balls -- a guard rushing in. I wonder how often people need to use that switch.

I’ve been to Japan quite a few times and this kind of stuff still never fails to amaze me. I really, really like this place.


Kevin Holland said...

Great reading about your experiences in Japan . . I love Japan, have been there two times, once for a month, and a second time for 14 days, all in Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and seeing pics of those places breaks my heart and I want to go back so bad, if only I could work for Adobe, cause I can sure pitch products. The limo bus is killer, vending machines are always available, the bathrooms are the BEST, always with TP or the amazing toilets, thanks for the blogpost, kevin holland

Elena said...

Yeah, I know about the Japanese limousines. And I always wondered why Japanese people call them like that. Maybe, cause they're not so tall and a bus look for them like limousine. That's funny!