The Strange Culture

While it is no secret that Asians in general speak of dietary and bathroom habits an manner of consulting one’s personal health – there is an uprising of what started as a way to boost a restaurant’s sales – to now, what could make a demanding tourist attraction.  Are we witnessing an unveiling of a new culture in Taiwan?

Would we even dare?

The Bold Move:

There is a Taoist temple, located in Southern Taiwan that has recently made news.  Not on festivals, donations or other happenings at the temple – instead, the news reports that there has been a loan – funded for million dollar toilets.

In 2008, Tzenan Temple in Nantou County lent NTD $600 (USD $18) among 450,000 people, without registering a single default: the clients had loaned from the bank, in fear of offending the temple’s diety.

The bathroom complex at the Tzenan Taoist temple is seen after completion in this Dec. 2008 photo, in the southern Taiwan county of Nantou.

The bathroom complex at the Tzenan Taoist temple is seen after completion in this Dec. 2008 photo, in the southern Taiwan county of Nantou.

The intention in these loans, are towards an elaborate restroom, to serve the daily visitors that come to the temple.

The grand total of NTD $40 million (USD $1.2 million) construction, described by the excited temple staff as “five-stars.”  The staff goes on to descripe that the shape is uniquely of three bamboo shoots, which is Nantou’s treasured and most celebrated agricultural of the area.  Its golden hue flaunts the natural color of mature bamboo as can be seen, sold in local markets.

Abbot Chuang Chiu-further elaborated, in gratitude that the project was made possible by the reluctance of borrowers to offend the temple’s deity: it is believed that the spirit worshiped, is of an ancient Chinese governor, whom at his time, would reward subjects in line with the fealty that is owed and followed in traditional virtues.

“No one would dare make a default to the deity and risk bad fortune,” Chuang said.

However, Chuang was reluctant to comment on the wave of failures undermining larger financial institutions, but managed to state his regret that the size of loan packages available were inconveniently limited due to current economic turn toward recession.

A Brave Mind:

Locals are seen here, enjoying the latest hot-spot in Taiwanese dining in the unique atmosphere.

Locals are seen here, enjoying the latest hot-spot in Taiwanese dining in the unique atmosphere.

In an article, published by Yahoo! Travel dates back to May 8, 2006, it speaks of the time when themed restaurants populated the countries during the -then- booming economy.  One puzzling example is of a Rock ‘n’ Roll themed restaurants where one is seated on beds with a striking bar that is made completely out of ice.

Marton quickly became recognized as the world’s first toilet-themed restaurant.  The name, Marton means toilet in Mandarin.  The place literally offers toilet for seats and the served dishes – are not in plates or bowls, but even more toilets!  Cute miniature ones!

The idea: the creator was once a street-vendor along the roads of Taiwan which populates with the familiar noodle-stands, night markets and other vendors with neon lights and various display of arrangements of their products.  He sold ice cream!  In special plastic toilet cup-holder which he designed himself.  Thus, the birth of such an idea, it had made sales!

The restaurant uses ceramic toilets bowls/dishes to serve range of meals.  Why and how on earth would someone think of eating out of the toilet – would it not be so taboo?  Apparently, and no joke – there was a comic book character who would place, you betcha -poop- on crackers!  How this became popular with the children in Taiwan, one could never find the answer.  Or if there was, who could comprehend it?!!

The creator has patented the idea and opened other branches, thus creating a hott chain around Taiwan.  It certainly has attracted a wide range of tourists – all over the world!  Just to come, sit on a toilet, and eat from it too!  It has become a great father place for students, the young-in-spirit alike, and families with children.

It has become so popular in fact, as a result, they have introduced a loyalty program so one may collect credit based on their multiple visits to receive a big, ceramic toilet-shaped bowl to take home of their own!  Otherwise, they are sold separately, and with a price.

Food is either served in a flat bowl that resembles a male urinal, while the larger dishes or main meals, are served in a toilet bowl, and noodles or rice, in a bathtub-shaped bowl.

The thorough implementation includes toilet chairs, urinal sconces, and even commode shaped serving pieces.

The thorough implementation includes toilet chairs, urinal sconces, and even commode shaped serving pieces.

Information courtesy of the TAIPEI TIMES:

Restaurant: Marton

Address: 184 Wenlin Rd, Shilin Dist, Taipei (台北市士林區文林路184號)
Telephone: (02) 8861 4384
Open: Seven days a week, 11:30am to 10:30pm
Average meal: NT$170 to NT$200
Details: Credit cards not accepted.  Chinese menu

The restaurant, dates prior to the 2006 article by Yahoo! Travel, it had been active and growing for two years!  To think of the idea is certainly taboo, however eating fugu in Japan, or live octopus (there’s one dish of this which is chopped-alive before you) in Korea, may come to mind for those adventurous and explorative eaters.

As of today, there are in total, 12 toilet themed restaurants in Taiwan.

Local tourists enjoying the brunch in Marton Restaurant.

Local tourists enjoying the brunch in Marton Restaurant.

Raising Eyebrows:

All for your fascinating, toilet-humour (and ideas) entertainment.  🙂

“What one Earth are they thinking?” I ask myself when I read and browsed through the following.  I suggest, for your very entertainment, to browse throught the following below.

The Robo Urinal will peel back the eyelids from any man’s eyes if they may ever encounter this one.  The robot arms gently supports the ‘area’ – but I am not sure as if it flushes for you or not.  Then again, after all, it IS a robot.  I really must ask, “Have anyone ever attempted to USE this urinal??”

The Robo-Urinal...

The Robo-Urinal...

Weighing your…  product…  The Toilet Scale was designed by Haikun Deng, would not work if your feet are not touching the ground during its process.  You have to kick your legs in front of you, which is more or less to say, pretty inconvenient, not to mention an already self-consciously uncomfortable situation for any person.

Another score for the Japanese: they are kind enough to think in consideration for the astronauts, handicapped or very lazy people: Space Toilet (or ISS Toilet)!  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (or JAXA) invented a toilet you can wear on you!  Imagine wearing a diaper, but out of something that looks like glass with vacuum tubes going through it – the whole thing surrounds your hips – I guess you can pretty much relate to the image of “Bubble Boy.” They are said to come out with this product in 2014.  Something tells me that there will be more convenient methods by that time…

The JAXA made the following comment:

The current ISS toilet is a Russian-built, western-style commode that sucks waste away like a vacuum cleaner.  Use of that toilet requires practice before heading to space, particularly because an improperly seated user has the potential to create a messy situation.

Clean and easy to use, the envisioned space toilet is designed to be worn like a diaper around the astronaut’s waist at all times.  Sensors detect when the user relieves him or herself, automatically activating a rear-mounted suction unit that draws the waste away from the body through tubes into a separate container.  In addition to washing and drying the wearer after each use, the next-generation space toilet will incorporate features that eliminate unwanted sound and odor.

Space toilet by JAXA

Space toilet by JAXA

Toilets-made-love-seats, or better as called: the “TwoDaLoo“…  I will not go on futher into this, but simply provide a quote from the maker:

The TwoDaLoo is billed as the world’s first toilet two people can use … at the exact same time. It brings couples closer together and conserves our water supply all with one flush. The TwoDaLoo features two side-by-side toilet seats with a modest privacy wall in between. An upgraded version includes a seven inch LCD television and iPod docking station.

The TwoDaLoo, some inventions - is just sadly a waste of mind, or one of someone desperate for quick money through odd designs who did not sit long enough to think...

The "TwoDaLoo," some inventions - is just sadly a waste of mind, or one of someone desperate for quick money through odd designs who did not sit long enough to 'think'...

I never realized that there ever was a person who could legally call themselves a “Toilet Paper Researcher“…  Apparently, it is possible, there is one and…  it’s a profession?

Yes, there is such a thing as a toilet-paper researcher.  And a team of them at Georgia Pacific’s Innovation Institute in Neenah has come up with a three-ply version of its Quilted Northern product.

The new product will be launched Monday. The company touts the toilet tissue as “ultra-soft” and says it plans to market the product to women 45 and older who view their bathroom as a “sanctuary for quality time.”

Toilet Paper Researchers developed 3-Ply TP

Toilet Paper Researchers developed "3-Ply TP"

Lovers of fish and the feel of an aquarium, there is a 2.5 gallon aquarium for you and it is called, “Fish N’ Flush“…  The ceramic tank consists of two parts: the actual tank and the aquarium, which surrounds the tank for the “fish in your toilet” effect.  To anyone who would consider such a aquarium-wrapped-around-your-toilet, it costs USD $300.-

The Fish N Flush toilet that will cost you USD $300.-

The "Fish 'N' Flush" toilet that will cost you USD $300.-

An Australian, Martin Biebauer reports to having bombarded by hail when he was “doing his business.”  Here, he provides the following comment:

“I heard the pipes rumbling a bit, and suddenly hailstones the size of golf balls started exploding out of the toilet like it was a popcorn machine. There was an avalanche of ice that quickly filled the toilet, then the entire flat, and eventually the entire building. I ran down the stairs with the hailstones following me, and other residents did the same.”

Local council spokesman Wolfgang Leinner said: “The pressure was too great, the hailstones had to go somewhere and they came out through the toilets it seems.”

The occurred in a block of flats in Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland province, was oddly enough caused by hailstones which had ‘flooded‘ into a local drain during a torrential downpour, and was thus blocked.

The toilet that hailed in Australia...

The toilet that 'hailed' in Australia...

Laughing with one of the world’s oldest jokes is this themed restroom in the University of Wolverhampton.  This joke, however is actually dated back to 1900 B.C., the ever hilarious toilet humour.

It is a saying of the Sumerians, who lived in what is now southern Iraq and goes: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.”

The second joke derives somewhere 300 years later:

A 1600 BC gag about a pharaoh, said to be King Snofru (First King of Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty), comes second — “How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish.”

Lastly is one dating to the 19th Century:

The oldest British joke dates back to the 10th Century and reveals the bawdy face of the Anglo-Saxons — “What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before? Answer: A key.”

Humorous bathroom...  Indeed.  The University life lives on.

Humorous bathroom... Indeed. The University life lives on.

Living in a cardboard?  Now, you can be poor enough, obviously, to have your own “Cardboard Toilet” – made especially for outdoor use, costs merely USD $31.-  While the company claims it to be “an honest price,” it comes with a “ten degradable poo-bags.”  To its credit, the unit doubles as a stool and comes with a set-up flyer to assist in the construction.

The Cardboard Toilet that will cost you UD $31.-

The "Cardboard Toilet" that will cost you UD $31.-

And at last –  I promise, a last one for the road!  A printer that prints your toilet paper, presenting to you, “RSS Toilet Paper Printer!”  This product claims to print out your favourite RSS feed on toilet paper so one may catchup on your favourite news and lever be left behind – all while using the John.  A feature to this device is a “biometric user identification,” (or authentication) which is based on your personal weight (when seated) to recognize who you are – perhaps as to remember and personalize your favourite feed links…

Finally, one that proves more clever and useful of an invention for your bathroom needs and entertainment.  Most likely, this would not be sold for the corporate public, but perhaps more popular with family use.

RSS Toilet Paper Printer - it will remember who you are!

RSS Toilet Paper Printer - it will remember who you are!

~ by Lan on 2008 Mon+00:002009-02-09T13:31:55+00:00. 15.

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