Friday, August 14, 2009

A war of cultures – Wiping the butt

As I earlier discussed, the Salaryman-Sunshine household is usually a quite peaceful one with just a few flares of cultural battles from time to time, one of the few major ones I talked about earlier. But there is also another ongoing war in the Salaryman-Sunshine household; the war of the toilet paper.

By doing a broad generalization, I think it’s fair to say that the Japanese prefer thinner and very soft toilet paper, while I, raised in the cold north prefer rougher toilet paper just one step smoother than sandpaper. Normally we solve this by buying something in between which has the results of leaving both of us somewhat annoyed since it's too rough for Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman and too smooth and delicate for me. This has the consequence in a form of guerilla warfare, where either party takes the chance to shop for the toilet paper of preference if they are given the task of filling up the stock without supervision of the other party. As of late, I have been on the losing side of this resulting in a prolonged stint of thin and soft toilet paper.

Theoretically the thin and soft paper is useable as long as proper care is taken in its usage. It needs to be folded quite a number of times, just folding it one time too little runs you the risk of rupture and suddenly ending up with a finger in a place where you do not want to have a finger and then having to go through a rigorous disinfection protocol… This however does not seem to be a point of concern for most Japanese people, perhaps the inherent skills in origami prevents this.
The second drawback besides the extreme folding, is that the paper is so soft that it is not unusual for it to stick to parts of your body after the wiping, requiring you to go through another procedure of trying to remove the remains, something that can be quite challenging...

I find Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman’s claims that usage of my preferred type of toilet paper tear bloody chunks out of her more delicate areas to be rather petty compared to my problems!

The war rages on…


9 comments:

Me said...

From personal experience, Salaryman, I have to say, as I have gotten older the softer the better.

Implosion said...

I find that folding the toilet paper into a rose works best. Remember- more creases creates better traction.

But then again, I AM asian. I may have hidden origami skills somewhere in my lineage.

Anonymous said...

hmmm.. home customs.. very hard to figure out! you have to work together. have nothing to do with war of cultures.

ThePenguin said...

How about getting to the bottom of the problem and having "his-and-hers" toilet roll holders?

井上エイド said...

Why can't you use the Japanese bidet/washlet as a compromise?

Chris said...

Yeah, in the country where toilet seats are smarter (and more expensive) than PCs, why don't you have an-all-in-one model, with washing and drying functions? Then you won't need to use paper at all. More environmentally friendly and no more dunny paper arguments!

Mr. Salaryman said...

Me - Well, perhaps age will soften me up too, but I think my Nordic genes crave a little resistance

Implosion - Wow, it sounds nice, but you must spend quite a lot of time in the toilet...?

Anonymous - Wow, yeah, you're completely right it really doesn't have anything to do with "war of cultures"! Thank you so much for sorting this out!

Penguin - This is a shocker, this could be the solution! No more war of cultures in the Salaryman home, just peace. I'll discuss this at our next board meeting.

Inoue and Chris - Yeah, but despite being a high powered salaryman executive I just have a crappy toilet and the most sophisticated tool on it is the flushing...

yuseff said...

Origami skills..!

Anonymous said...

Japanese Toilet Paper vs. Chinese Toilet Paper

The reason it's so thin and soft is because Japanese toilet paper needs to dissolve within 100 seconds of being exposed to water.

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