Monday, September 17, 2007


Godless tinkering, as usual

After the mighty Real Osaka handed out a complete bum-whipping to Murphys last week, I shunned tactical beers with the Real management in favour of a trip to a bath house with the vanquished opposition.

I'm a big fan of the Japanese-style bathing routine: showering yourself spotless then soaking in any one of a variety of tubs. There's hot, way too hot, dead cold and... hang on a minute... electricity?!

There it was: a small, unused tub in the corner with the kanji denki (electricity) on the sign. I queried a more experienced bather.

"Yeah, it's a little uncomfortable at first, but it's really good."

Although I don't consider myself traditional in many respects, I have to say that I've never questioned the age-old wisdom that water plus electricity equals bad. Nevertheless, when my companion entered the tub and failed to burst into flames I was suitably reassured.

In I got.

The best that can be said about it is: weird. The worst that can be said is that I felt like I was being knuckle-punched in the kidneys.

I emerged after another uniquely Japanese experience- a bit like that time I ate Sea Cucumber. Not tremendously good, but unavailable in less enlightened countries (and by enlightened, I mean barmy.)

The obvious question: how exactly did they find the right balance of water and electricity? Or, another way to ask the same question would be: how many burning chimps exited the room via the ceiling before they got it sorted?


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