I went out for lunch the other day to a little snack bar and well, the way things happen, I needed to go to the toilet. And there I was faced – for the first time during my current stay in Japan – with a modernized, because ceramified, version of the ancient hole-in-the-ground.

squat toilet in JapanThis sight usually elicits a well trained string of responses on my part:

1. Assess urgency with which relief is needed.
2. Seek other, throne-style options.

3. If the answers to the above are NOW!! and None, then:

a. Curse evolution for relative intricacy of female plumbing as opposed to male one.
b. Curse father for not being able/willing to provide a y-chromosome.
c. Curse modern dress style involving pants and knickers.
d. Assemble aforementioned garments out of the way, face the hood and get down to business.
e. Hope to not lose balance during action.

So far my greatest relief has always occured when I could leave the cubicle again, unscathed, but I realize it is simply a question of getting used to it…