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On a roll in Tokyo
I am jet lagged but the excitement of being here is too much. Let’s start with the toilet



May 13, 2006

A few articles ago I received an email accusing me of being a braggart (noun, a person who boasts about achievements or possessions : [as adj.] braggart men). I was stunned. Me a braggart? I believe I am the most modest person I know. To prove my point, last month I was in Dubai for work and stayed at the gorgeous Park Hyatt by the creek. But did I boast about it to anyone?

And now let me tell you about my latest trip. I write to you from the luxurious Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo to which I traveled business class (always to scruffy to be upgraded to first) all the way from London. It cost me a lot of money. A LOT of money!

Day 1 in Tokyo
I am jet lagged but the excitement of being here is too much. Let’s start with the toilet. The seat is heated. I also have an array of digital controls next to the seat which will spray, squirt a jet or simply blow warm air from underneath. And it feels magnificent. The thought of a toilet which does everything short of taking your trousers off amazes me. Later today I am going to see if the squirt jet shoots high enough for me to use it like a drinking fountain. Hey, why not?


I am here for a meeting with clients who wants to spend most evenings feeding me and showing me the sights. I am a willing participant but so wish my beautiful V and the twins could be here to enjoy what I am enjoying. From my 15th floor room I can see temples and gardens force fitted into a Blade Runner-esque concrete jungle. The fly-overs are amazing. As I entered the city I was driven over highways which were high above 7 storey buildings (I counted the floors). All at the same time the Carpenters were playing “On top of the world, looking down on creation…” on my iPod. It is 1am here but the real time (UK time) is still 4am for me.

Day 4 in Tokyo
I have finally emerged from a drunken blur lasting four days and nights. I was taken to a restaurant called Shubiden (or something very similar) and made to drink so much that for the first time in a long, long time I had double vision. When the time came to leave I couldn’t pull my legs out from under the table and had to roll myself around on the floor while clients and colleagues laughed hysterically.

I woke up early on the morning of day two feeling refreshed, rested and alert. This is how my system responds to Sake and Whisky. Anything else (e.g. beer or wine) and I would have been hospitalised with the worst hangover in the world. The evening was repeated night after night and only today am I alert enough to finish this article.

When I fly home it will be to Brussels (no we didn’t go to beautiful Italy after all). My father in law put his foot down and made us see sense. Italy, as a first destination on our tour of the world while the twins grow up was too far away. Perhaps in a year or two when we are ready to move again we will finally move to beautiful Palermo. The idea is that we travel and live in different cities while we can and before the boys have to start proper school at seven or eight years old. More about life in Brussels in my next dispatch.

Siamack Salari is CEO of Everyday Lives, recording human behavior for commercial marketing.

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