The reverse squat

In Asia on May 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

Reading travel books can occasionally be like reading tax forms. The figures and characters start to blur into pools of ink on the page. List after list of temples carry no real meaning, but you know you’ve been turning the pages.

Luckily, my friend recommended the Lonely Planet series. Japan somehow became accessible. The tensions and vendettas of the shogunates emerged as salient and compelling histories.

This may also be due to the fact that I purchased my travel guide and have been highlighting away, which literally makes elements of interest to me stand out. So I can’t categorically recommend Lonely Planet. My library copies on Seoul and Korea have not proven as riveting. Thus I will also endorse highlighters wholeheartedly.

But in Lonely Planet Japan, I actually found useful advice, such as the time that should be dedicated to visits (in my case, one week equals Tokyo and Kyoto). And prices, though they still don’t mean very much.

Most happily, I found several entries to accommodate my pre-trip bathroom research.

This little gem came from the section “Dangers & Annoyances,” which include such things as earthquakes, noise and in this case body size.

“Toilets in cramped accommodation necessitate contortions and careful aim (be warned!). Bathtubs are also sometimes on the small side and require flexibility on the part of the bather.”

The next is from the section specifically dedicated to my interest.

In Japan you will come across Western-style toilets and Asian squat toilets. When you are compelled to squat, the correct position is facing the hood, away from the door. This is the opposite of squat toilets in most other places in Asia. Make sure the contents of your pockets don’t spill out! Toilet paper isn’t always provided, so carry tissues with you.”

I feel like I need a diagram here. I mean clearly, they are recommending the ass-out method, but I am still lacking full comprehension.

Stay tuned for results from my diagram hunt and bits on solo travelers, great for men, slightly less so for women. Don’t do the secret handshake, I have thus far been warned.

  1. Wow… Japan! Awesome.

    Here’s your diagram:

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