It occurred to me once that it would be nice to compose a dictionary of various words used to name this once special room in every house that no one can miss…
Toilet. Bathroom. Loo. Restroom. Washroom. Ladies/Men’s room. Lavatory. Facilities. Outhouse. Ladies/Gents. WC. Comfort room.
Eskimos might have a lot of words to describe snow, but our great Western civilization instead came up with over a dozen names for a place where you shit. Crap. Take a dump. Blast one out. Drop the kids off at the pool. Download. Go to the library. Purge your bowels.
Anyway, you see what I did there. Everybody poops.
Toilet humour is extremely popular when you are from 3 to 13 years old. Then the teenage period comes and sex jokes take over the fecal jokes. Or so it was in my times, maybe now there’s been some kind of shift in pre-school and teen education.
Modern Toilet restaurant in Taipei was founded by a group of friends almost 10 years ago and, according to the annals on their website, was inspired in the first place by Japanese manga ‘Dokuta Suranpu’ (Dr. Slump), quite remarkable for its poop humour. Now the bathroom-themed venues are open in several major cities around Taiwan and even have a branch in Hong-Kong! Europe is waiting and will have to wait a bit longer to embrace the spirit of shitting where you’re eating.
The Modern Toilet restaurant I visited in Ximending with a couple of friends in Taipei offers a menu with dinner prices above average, but very soon you discover a brilliant offer: each person pays only for the main course of their choice, and one drink and dessert is provided for free. By default, the drink can be either red or green tea, and the dessert – the restaurant’s special poop-shaped ice-cream (initially the franchise started as an ice-cream store, then developing into a fully equipped restaurant). Your order cannot be less than 600NTD (20$) but for a group of 3 people this is just what you pay for the main course.
Come in, snap some photos of a huge toilet right above the entrance, stare at the poop-shaped lamps and bidets hanging from the walls. Sit down on your personal toilet around the bathtub table (I wish that shower had could pour drinks) and order your meal. Your food comes served in a small bathtub, on a little sink or in yet another toilet bowl with a heater underneath – your food will be kept warm and steaming. All brown-coloured dishes look more compromising in this kind of setting, but come on – I know you won’t shut up about the Modern Toilet restaurant afterwards!
You might ask: ‘So, what about toilets in a restaurant that is entirely made of toilets?’ Do they have restaurant-themed bathrooms? Spaghetti hanging from the ceiling, pizza-shaped rugs and cocktail glass lanterns? Nothing special, I need to admit. But the facilities in the Modern Toilet restaurant are signposted, so don’t be afraid to get confused.
Dessert will follow after you’re finished with your food: each ice-cream is served in a plate shaped like a squat toilet (Hello Mainland China!) Eat it fast, because melted chocolate ice-cream in a squat toilet doesn’t look funny anymore.