Barbara says, 'I enjoy travelling, particularly to countries where the culture is vastly different to my own. I have had a few successes with flash fiction, short stories, memoir, and essay, but this is the first time I've written a travel piece.'
Australian toilets are hotbeds for graffiti artists, so what a pleasant surprise it was when I used the pristine Japanese ‘loos’ at Narita Airport, Tokyo. What fascinated me was the selection of buttons on the handle to the right of the pedestal.
It had ‘spray’ and ‘bidet’ buttons, but the ‘flushing sound’ (dubbed ‘otohime’ – princess sound – after the Japanese folktale of Urashima Tarō) intrigued me.
Music makes white noise to help self-conscious women retain their dignity by masking those undesirable noises.
I did indeed feel like a princess when I emerged, head held high, my indiscretions disguised.