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Posted by on May 9, 2013

Random Thoughts by Dave – Toilets, Tokyo and Traveling with Jill


We’re sitting at a bar the other day and Jill says, “Do you think it’s bad that we basically see the cities we’re visiting by going to brewpubs?” How am I supposed to respond to that?

I think It’s going to take my body a little longer to get re-acclimated to western style food. On a semi-related note, I really miss my Cambodia bathroom hose.

No!!! I don’t miss it!!! I’ve now discovered the wonderful Japanese toilet. A heated seat is enough to make the walk from our yurt to the bathroom a worthwhile endeavor, but clean-up is a breeze with the warm-water rinse. I prefer the power-clean, a turbo blast of warm water that doesn’t lift you off the seat as the picture suggests, but does provide enough more than enough pressure to do the job. Even better, hit the button twice and the spray moves around, hitting multiple areas. I’m never leaving.

The incredible ingenuity of Japanese toilets.

The incredible ingenuity of Japanese toilets.

Hey Tokyo! How is it that I had to spend $10 for a pint of craft beer in a pub, then was able to walk into a mini-mart and purchase a bottle of relatively decent Chardonnay from Chile for $5? I’m calling you out Tokyo. This is absurd. You totally humiliated me when I had to order a half pint (for $6) to save a little money.

My half pint.

My half pint. And Jill’s.

We ate deep dish pizza at a Tokyo brewpub on the same day we ran into the local outpost for Chicago’s very own Garrett’s Popcorn. Much like Chicago, the line to get in wound around the block, but in typical Japanese fashion was very orderly.

Jill has been absolutely amazing getting us around on public transportation in both China and Japan. She studies the maps for where we want to go the night before, figures out what the costs will be and knows the number of stops until our stop or when we have to transfer. So the other day we were at a ticket machine and she knew we were at the right station, but couldn’t figure out which ticket to buy for where we were going. We wound up getting help from one of the station agents (after the second time I suggested it) and you wouldn’t believe how pissed off that made her. We’re sitting on the train a half hour later and she’s still trying to figure out where she went wrong. check if site down Insert robot joke here.

We wanted to go to a pub the other day in China and Jill looked at the map and decided it wouldn’t be too far to walk, so we did. Slight miscalculation as we walked for more than an hour and still weren’t at the bar. At the time I wanted to say to Jill, “You typically have one of these on each trip where we end up lost or you don’t know precisely how far something is,” but figured it might sound like I was criticizing her since at the time neither of us was too happy about the situation. But my point (that I’m saving here so as better to explain myself) is that more than 90% of the time we get exactly where we’re going with little to no problem. This woman is amazing. She’s trying to figure out a way to monetize this talent if anyone has any suggestions.

Even more amazing, I actually didn’t say anything to her at the time because I figured it would sound like I was being critical. Typically I just let my mouth go without thinking of the repercussions.  It’s taken me a while, but I’m starting to figure things out.

Before you start thinking I’ve become more mature, I can’t tell you how many times I pulled out “Tune in Tokyo” while we were actually in Tokyo. Don’t know what “Tune in Tokyo” is?  Check out this video.

Sure enough, Jill and I did squabble about the long walk story (above) after she edited this post. Her first comment, “I got us there, didn’t I?’ She also quibbled with my estimate that she gets us places without problem “more than 90% of the time,” putting the number of times there’s an issue at 1-in-50, or 2%. It must be tough to be a perfectionist.

Originally in the paragraph above I wrote, “It’s tough to be married to a perfectionist,” but thinking about it a little more and with my new-found maturity I re-worded it a little to say it must be tough to be a perfectionist.

But before you start to think I have actually matured know that I also watched “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” the other day and laughed as hard as I did when I first saw it with my cousin Brad in 1999.

As always, you can find my entire collection of ramblings here.