City of Seoul Korea

Story Time With Taylor A Bidet Story

Story Time With Taylor A Bidet Story

And because it’s my blog, I’m going to tell you a story, dangit. No, I’m not doing a slow lead in to a movie recommendation or a television show recommendation. I’m just telling a story. And with the chaos our world is in, I think you could use just a stupid story. This story probably should go on Reddit somewhere, but as Reddit scares me to death, I’ll let you post  it out there.

So, this story is about a bidet. What’s a bidet you ask? So cute. So Google says that a bidet is, and I quote: “a low oval basin used for washing one’s genital and anal area.” Right? Now that we’ve got everyone on the same page! Gah, keep up… let’s continue our story.

I was going to be traveling to Seoul for the first time a couple of years ago. And among international travelers, the bidets of Korea, Japan and the larger orient are legend. “Oh you have to give it a try.” I hear from other fellow travelers. So I sort of make up my mind… yeah, the two main things I’m going to try while in South Korea is Sake, and the bidet in my hotel room. I will say that the other really amazing thing I experienced while there was the fact that my hotel mirror didn’t fog up when I got out of the shower. Well at least a foot wide, and two feet high section didn’t anyway. (I learned later that they do that by placing warm water behind the mirror… which is brilliant.)

ANYWAY, so my trip was looming, and I was getting pretty stoked about the entire trip. But when I first went into my bathroom, this is what I saw. And so yeah, I didn’t push any of those buttons. No thank you. You were taking your life into your own hands if you push those particular buttons. So day one goes by, nope. Day two? Still no closer. And you can’t just push them and stand back and see what they do first. You have to be sitting on the toilet in order to make it go. Otherwise you just destroyed that light on the bathroom ceiling and destroyed the bathroom wallpaper etc. Right?

So after a couple days have passed I get to talking to another American in hushed voices about the bidets.

Rob – “Did you try that bidet yet?”

Me – “No. Stop.”

Rob – “No really. You have to try it. Every time I’m here it is my favorite thing by far. Not sure that kind of fun is actually allowed for us Christians… but definitely do it every single time I come.”

Me – “Did you see the controls on that thing? I’m not putting my crowned jewels at the mercy of something I can’t understand.”

Rob – “Oh, no, it’s super simple. Turn it on and thing basically runs itself. Bam. Done.”

Me – “Seriously? That easy?”

Rob – “Yeah, yeah totally. Try it. You’ll thank me later.”

So that night, I got back and look at the controls again. (Now, I wasn’t able to find a photo of the exact controls that I was faced with, which, in my memory were even more complex than the picture I posted above – by a factor, but you get the idea. Oh I have a photo of this heinous terrible machine somewhere, but I’m too traumatized to go looking for it.) I saw an off button. I thought anyway. I saw a couple of different wash types, at least, I thought I did anyway. I saw some different variations that were available…  I think. And then some crazier stuff for those with Doctorates in Bidets. I wasn’t going near any of those buttons. So what could go wrong?

That day after the meetings were over, and the bulk of the weightier responsibilities of my trip were over I figured, ‘I think I’m going to give it a try.’ So, I go to the bathroom, all set, ready to hit the on-ish button. Or the button that appeared to be the on-like button anyway. I took a few deep breaths, and decide to press it.

And like magic, the gods of the bathroom flitted down and pronounced that BIDET is good… and that I should create a bidet company for the United States in order to bring the goodness and light of the bathroom to all my friends and family that don’t fully comprehend what they are missing out on. The water was warm. Smooth. And loverly.

About that time, I thought, ok. How do I turn it off. Let’s go with the obvious button.

Click. Lights flash. Nothing.

Click. Lights flash. Nothing.

Zero. And now, the pleasant-ness was leaving, and I was beginning to have a flash of worry. Hrm. My first thought at this point? ‘If I get up right now, the pressure of this thing will literally take out the light on the ceiling of this bathroom. It will destroy the wallpaper in the hallway. This will not be good.’

So, since the “OFF” button didn’t work. Let’s try a different button. I press, and instantly regret said press. It was as if the water rotated 10 degrees laterally. May not seem like a lot to you – but it was enough to send me into sheer panic mode now. My man parts were being completely sandblasted. And then as I looked back at the button I pressed, instead of being the button for sweet escape, it now appeared to be a woman? Maybe? Or no, frilly hair? Yeah, definitely a woman. So I pressed the first button again, and nothing changed. But it also seemed like the pressure was getting much more intense? Or possibly, it was just the location of the jet stream? Nope, definitely more intense. Ok, pain. Rawness. I want to go home!

But there were more buttons. Lots more buttons. Maybe one would give the sweet hoped for off option?

Click. Buddahhhh-buddaaaah-buddddddaaaaaahhhhhhh

Pulsing was starting. It was literally a fullon Swedish massage. But in a very unwelcome area. Ok, please stop now. Stop stop stop. And was it getting even hotter?

I swear this to you – I said this to myself at the time… “One day, this will be a fantastic story to share with your friends over a beer. And I know you are near panic, but breathe man. Breathe.”



Click… for the love…


Click… help?

And with every click new things, strange things, horrible things, were happening. Strobing. Pulsing. HOT AIR!!! Yikes, no! Unbeknownst to me the hot air was the answer. But at that particular moment, 5 minutes in to my 20 minute purgatory? Hot air was the last thing I wanted.

Recently, the good people of Japan decided they were going to simplify the complex iconography of their bidets throughout Japan heading into the 2020 Olympics because too many pour tourists, like myself (though I was in Korea at this moment, I later tried a bidet at the Platinum Club area in Narita airport in Japan and decided, NOPE, I will die on one of these things, and it will be the most embarrassing funeral ever conducted) were so confused it was causing problems. And the other day, when I saw this new icon chart I said to myself… NO WONDER I WAS CONFUSED. Read this chart for yourself and tell me if you figured out all eight without looking below for help.  And remember, THIS IS THE SIMPLIFIED iconography.

If I were to guess on my own it would be something like – a. ejector seat b. dejector seat c. black hole start d. octopus start e. mustachio faucet f. water launch g. stairs enable h. TV start

But no. Actually not. So here is the crib sheet for what these new icons mean:

  1. Raise the lid. (seriously? You need a button for this? Oh, right, that actually might be a nice feature.)
  2. Raise the seat (see previous parenthetical comment)
  3. Large flush, (um. why? variable flushing?)
  4. Small flush, (see previous parenthetical comment)
  5. Rear bidet, (um)
  6. Front bidet (oh my – I think this is otherwise known as female rinse)
  7. Dry (alright?)
  8. Stop (THERE’S A STOP?!?)

So here I am stuck on the toilet, and none of these buttons are doing anything close to resembling a stop. None. There is a button that makes sense to be the stop. But nope. It just clicks.

A few days later, when I was a safe distance from that particular bidet (headed around to Africa I think? No, that trip was Germany, I digress, yet again.) I did a ton of googling to try and sort it out. And what I had done wrong was that the good Korean people assumed a practical order, and unless that practical order was completed, the system wouldn’t shut down. For example:

  1. Back bidet, front bidet, variable speed, DRY!, then Off. Perfect.
  2. Back bidet, Dry, off. Fine.
  3. Front bidet, off. Not fine. You missed the dry.

It assumed that you would go from dry to off. Any other button to off? Nope. The off button was disabled unless you went directly from dry to off. Oh, and also, you needed to have the dryer on a certain amount of time before it enabled the off button. Seriously. And if I had been in anything other than a sheer panic searching for a off button I might have actually logically found it. But I had to wait until I accidentally stumbled across the correct pattern randomly. 20 minutes later.