Wash Your Hands!

Living in Japan I have developed some terrible habits, mostly involving lax personal security, making ‘Japanese noises’ instead of conversation and spending a lot of money on UFO Catchers.

The current one that’s giving me grief, however, is related to the taps here in Japan.

Borrowed from upstreamdownstream.com

All the humiliation of hand washing.

A huge number of the taps here are motion sensor activated, meaning you just have to wave your hands around under them to get the water flowing. Some even have motion sensor soap dispensers.

This is all very well and good, but I have come to expect it, and not all taps have this function.

I was in a public bathroom the other day, feeling a bit spacier than usual, and I held my hands out for the water, while checking my makeup in the mirror.

I guess I’d been standing there for an uncomfortable length of time, because the little old woman at the sink next to me coughed politely, leaned over, and turned the tap on for me.

Mortified, I bowed, sumimasen-ed and quickly washed my hands.

The little old woman clearly thought I was an idiot, because she waited for me to finish washing, then escorted me over to the hand dryer.

When I had proved that I was capable of drying my hands by myself she farewelled me with a wave, and I slunk, red-faced, out the door.

The worst part of this story? That’s definitely not the last time I’ve done it…

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