Toilet Misdirection and In at the Deep End: Friday 17th June

Japanese toilets: a subject that one could study for a lifetime and still come no closer to understanding the inner workings of. Recently however, one thing in particular has been playing on my mind: why do restaurants rarely have their own personal WCs? Even the most upmarket of restaurants, if they are in a shopping mall or other public place, will rely upon the civic facilities. This means that you can be eating lobster and sipping champagne one minute, and having to share conveniences with a street urchin the next. I also blame said joint amenities for the mistake that I made this lunchtime. I was happily dining with friends at an Indian restaurant in Roppongi, however when I returned from the toilets I couldn’t find our group, and found that the restaurant that I had been eating in had transformed into a French patisserie, replete with questioning waiters. Given, this was partially my fault for not looking where I was going, but the lack of individual toilets must shoulder most of the blame.

This almost certainly means something important.

Due to the weather I was unable to go for my run today, and so thought that I would supplement it with a visit to my local swimming pool. As this was my first time using this particular facility, and owing to the fact that without my glasses I am as blind as a bat, it is fair to say that a great deal of fuss was made in making my way to what I hoped was the public pool. After only 3 laps the lifeguard started whistling repeatedly, and I noticed that the pool started to rapidly empty. Thankfully I was semi-prepared for this, as Richard had informed me that every hour, on the hour, everyone was required to get out and stretch, so as to avoid cramp. Armed with this vital titbit of information I successfully managed to avoid making a complete ass of myself; however, the 3 laps obviously meant that I was on the other side of the pool to where I had begun. I wish that I had realised this when I finished my swim, instead of loosing all sense of direction and having to ask to be escorted to the changing rooms by one of the lifeguards. Obviously he had to be called over the loudspeaker, with the resulting scene looked like something out of a care home. Still, at least I never fail to make an impression.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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4 Responses to Toilet Misdirection and In at the Deep End: Friday 17th June

  1. Mike says:

    Where are you finding street urchins in this Dickensian Tokyo in which you live?

  2. Sandy says:

    I am reminded of the Mr Bean sketch at the swimming pool (

    You are hilarious.

    • truehamlet says:

      Thanks Sandy, if only my Japanese wasn’t such a source if constant hilarity:


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