America is the largest manufacturer of bidets in the world, and yet you would be hard pressed to find one in service here. With their “clean is happy” campaign, TOTO is looking to push their adoption in the States. Having briefly explored the general (and often acute) discomfort Americans feel thinking or talking about anything related to their nether regions, a couple of us were intrigued to find that TOTO had just opened a gallery at 500 N Wells, two blocks north of our school.
To our surprise, this is not a store (you cannot actually buy anything
here), but a gallery where they showcase sculpted white porcelain and
host parties every couple weeks. You can admire, but not enjoy, the
luxurious Neorest suite of products, which includes the Air Bath for a
mere thirty-five grand. And you can touch a variety of new design
prototypes such as the eco-faucet with a zen garden motif. But most
importantly, you can try out their bidet, the Washlet, in the publicly
available restroom. After all, that’s why we went there.
Conveniently, the first thing I noticed was that they were out of toilet paper. No
worries, that’s what the bidet is for, right? I must admit, the
experience was quite pleasant, though the air from the dryer wasn’t
really warm enough. Kiel, the TOTO
representative claims that using a small portion of water is less
wasteful than a wad of toilet paper, and that this argument often tips
buyers. If that isn’t enough to convince you that a Washlet is right
for you, consider that it’s also powerful enough to suck down three
tennis balls. Check it out.