Japan – Go

August 23, 2007

When: August 24, 8:30 AM (Japan Time)
Where: Righa Royal Hotel, Kyoto

We arrived at our hotel in Kyoto and immediately acquired an entourage. It took no less than six people to pick up our luggage, usher us through the lobby, guide us to our room, and thoroughly explain everything including a thirty second guide on how to (efficiently, politely) use a card key to unlock the door. What they didn’t explain was the toilet.

Toilets are peculiar here. There are the standard accessories you expect on a toilet, and then there’s the mysterious computer console. It has three knobs, four buttons, and two status indication lights, all perfectly labeled with squiggly lines that I can’t read. What I did understand is that there was a blue button, a pink button, a grey button, and it all had to do with water.

At this point, I should note that the entire reason I got into computers in the first place is that I have a nearly uncontrollable urge to push buttons.

The grey button is pretty straight forward. There’s a single character there, looking rather abrupt and grounded in it’s design, which seemed to communicate “push me, and I’ll stop whatever is happening, thank you, thank you.” The pink button has obvious feminine overtones, but only has two simple characters — reassuringly uncomplex. The blue button, with two complex characters and a frightening number of supporting squiggles, appears to do something quite masculine to one’s undercarriage.

So, having rationalized my fears and screwed up my courage, I accidentally pressed the pink button.

My view was obscured at this point, so I can only imagine what happened next. But, I clearly understood two things: it involves robots, and they were vaguely confused. I’ll spare the details, but I am happy to say that the grey button lived up to it’s promise.

One Response to “Japan – Go”


  1. Wow – excellent write-up. It had me chuckling when I first read it, but when I read it to my wife, I almost couldn’t read the last line I was laughing so hard. Thanks for sharing!


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