Mack’s Craic

24Sep12
A bum idea.

A bum idea.

We’re going around the world in twenty-five days, one day for every year we’ve been married. Julie and I got married in New Zealand on 3rd October 1987. I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures in the next few Craics.

Day 2 Tokyo:

Going to the toilet in Japan is a big deal. The toilets in the airport have a button you push that makes the sound of a toilet flush even though it’s not actually flushing. Julie noticed that shortly after people went into one of the traps, you heard the sound of the flush. We think it’s designed to hide the sound of you tinkling. The Japanese are just THAT polite. The thing I don’t like about Japanese toilets is that they have a heated seat. I went for a sit down as soon as we got to our hotel room and that really freaked me out. I sat down, felt the warm seat beneath me and thought, hang on a minute; someone’s just been on here!

There are no such creature comforts in the public toilets in Tokyo city itself. The door to the Gents is either non-existent or just a saloon door; you can see the urinals as you walk past. The traps are private but there are no heated seats, you don’t even get a seat, or a toilet for that matter, just a porcelain hole in the floor. And no toilet paper! In other busy cities around the world, you’re constantly handed flyers advertising restaurants, shops and clubs. On busy streets in Tokyo, they hand you little packets of tissues with adverts on them. My advice is if you’re in Tokyo and someone hands you a packed of tissues, take them in case you need to go!

Our first meal out in Tokyo wasn’t very adventurous, we went to Sizzler. I got a bit worried at first because I thought they’d handed us chop sticks but they turned out to be drinking straws.

Day 3 Tokyo:

We went to Miraikan which means ‘Hall of the Future’. Actually, the whole of Tokyo could be described that way. Everywhere is spotless, no graffiti, no litter, not even in the railway and subway stations. Thousands of busy people, some wearing facemasks scurry around like they’re all cogs in the world’s most efficient machine. Julie and I must look really out of place but no one seems to notice us, it’s like we exist in a parallel dimension. It’s like being in a science fiction movie. I’m half expecting Ridley Scott to yell, “cut” and then watch everyone stop, relax and casually walk off the set.

Miraikan was great and we got to see a demonstration of Asimo, the humanoid robot. His movements are so humanlike I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a bloke inside a robot suit and it actually was a robot that could walk, talk, dance and kick a ball. Maybe one day Asimo will replace Peter Crouch.

I thought I saw my first bit of Tokyo graffiti at Miraikan. It was scrawled on the side of a replica of the Japanese module of the International Space Station. It turned out to be Buzz Aldrin’s signature. I think he writes his name on all sorts of things because he still hasn’t got over being the SECOND man on the moon. 

Miraikan is a showcase of the latest Japanese technology and it is really advanced. It was the Japanese that made it possible for us to have the “paperless office”. Obviously inspired by their “paperless public toilets”!

There’s a Craic around the world!

Check out the Mack Nuggets at www.mackmedia.co.uk .

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