Monday, July 18, 2011

Dark dealings

The fact that public restrooms do not usually have western style toilets is not normally a problem. After all, even the best facility in a park has people traipsing wet and muddy feet throughout its tiled interior, while its open door policy and au naturale location means the majority of its guests have six legs and do not use toilet paper. As a result, I'm usually less than enthused to place my shiny-clean bare backside down on any surface.

The traditional squat toilet takes away that problem by being specifically designed for non skin to porcelain contact. In fact, one might even describe it as ideal... if I could see.

It was 5:30pm when I wandered into Nakajima park and the daylight was just starting to drop. The restroom actually did have lights --short fluorescent strips above the two wash basins-- there was just no way of turning these on. There were only two buttons in this side of the building and both controlled the water for the taps. Either this was an automatic detection systems that failed to note my stealthy restroom usage or someone had forgotten a key design feature.

Once I had closed the door of a cubicle, I couldn't see much. With no substantial ceramic object to grip, it was a question of crouch ... and hope. Fortunately the lack of light also prevented from knowing whether I was successful.

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