6.29.2006

Cultural Vertigo

You may have realized, if you have been following our blog at all, that there are times where you simply have to roll with the punches when living in a foreign culture.

A good example was when Mixon and I wanted to go down to the spa (onsen/hotsprings) in the hotel in Tokyo. We had free tickets and a little map of how to get there. Off we went. The instructions told us that we could go there in a yutaka (light kimono) and slippers. After tromping through the hotel in nothing but a bathrobe with a fancy name and slippers, we got to the door that led to the spa.

Mixon balked. He said, 'That sounds like a restaurant.'

I peeked. It looked like a restaurant.

Neither of us were too keen on parading through this restaurant in our bathrobes that felt conspicuously thin.

We went back up to the room, got changed into some real clothes and tried again. We felt much safer going through the restaurant fully clothed.

The spa was very nice. It was essentially a whole bunch of hot tubs. No, I don't have photos.

We spent a good while there. It was very relaxing. They had some pools outside, so it was nice to go out and sit in the hot tub with a nice refreshing rain coming down. None of this was terribly revolutionary.

I was rather surprised when it came time to head back upstairs. We were just finishing towelling off, so obviously lacking in any sort of clothing.

It was at that point that the cleaning lady came in. Yes the cleaning LADY. She went about her business, sweeping the floor in and around all the naked men...you know the things that cleaning ladies do.

Fortunately, Mixon didn't notice her. And I didn't mention it until we got back to the room.

Chalk that one up to the list of things that you don't see everyday in Canada.

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