Monday, December 19, 2011

café à la mode

Crappy coffee, jizm salat, and cliché hash browns aside, café a la mode delivers on the commode!  Good lighting and a warm wooden interior buffet against the poor pop radio musings like an ulcer on the gustatory aesthetics of the food to mouth paradigm here in Taiwan.  Enough fluff, let's move on to your rectum.

This little stencil says it all really.  Missing the point.  Being useless.  It's all just a shadow of the of the dimensionless reality that springs up in the nether regions of time-space and your continuing um refrain.  Upon paying an overpriced bill, I could only respond to the owner's question, "How was everything, sir?" with a glance askance at an almost untouched omelet, virgin bowl of salad, and jilted coffee cup.  "Um..."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit

Even with pink shoes, a furry zebra skin bum bag, and Randy Macho Man Savage shades, Rabbit Rabbit cafe refused to sync with my kitsch.  The deluge of pink extended to everything but the kitchen sink, at first glance saccharine and pathetic.  But lo', what treats awaited!

Adorning the polka-dotted pink walls are caricatures of famous icons as if they were rabbits.  Madonna, Kiss, the Beatles.  And of course Hitler!  Swastikitsch! 

The exposed glaring bulbs of their chandelier win the ugliest Stab At Decency award, runner-up only to post 9/11 America. This dysfunctional lighting atrocity is like taking a country of voters, and placing them on couches.  Then stripping them of all civil rights.  Voilà!  The decline of Western democracy explained through lamps.

Hitler kitsch.  So cute!

Enough fluff.  Onward to the raison d'etre.  Shit and piss.  Keeping with the failure of form and function theme, Rabbit Rabbit offers unisex toilets.  Something that is at once awkward and inappropriate given the hutch like crawlspace of their restrooms.  Though pleased to finally put my knowledge of ballet steps to use, the person opposite me couldn't quite execute the requisite demi-plié to avoid a disheartening full body swipe as we both clogged the entrance / exit like a toilet mid-plunge.  

The bathroom stalls were 1950s diner style, with a touch of trailer park trash.   The entire space was reminiscent of Anne Frank, but eerily cute.  Like a child built a restaurant out of used dollhouses.  I was hoping to look up and see a star sky in this hutch, but alas, the roof just rained loud electro hop, destroying all hope.

I actually have a rabbit at home and she is neither pink nor a Nazi.  She is adorably fluffy and just goddamn lovely.  Rabbit Rabbit needs to decide if they want to sell food, fascism, or fluff.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

WTC wc

The best part about working in the Taipei World Trade Center, is the amazing access to dozens of 3-star restrooms.  After 1 year (approximately 464 pounds) of shits, the newness has sort of worn off.  Still, there's always seat covers, soap, and paper towels.  The toilet paper is perversely single-ply and notoriously shy, retreating into its dispenser, the chameleon, resisting the furtive phalanges of its jilted groom.  The only solution is to fold sheaths of toilet paper whilst doing one's business, which creates a disturbing visual metaphor, separated by the isomorphism of decency and the capricious gesticulations of one's body --  an unwitting trio of duodenum, wrist, and knee.  Like a triumvirate of steely efficiency, post-neo-deconstructionalist architecture, tangent to rest or room, converting the body into a mere machine and distorting the affair into a wiping race.  Losing the ability to read one's paper, board random trains of thought, or just plain zone-out.  It is to shitting what pig-fucking is to sex.  I half expect to hear Dueling Banjos echo over the docile speaker in the ceiling. 

Regaining my sanity, I stand and fish for the seam of toilet paper in the frustrating folds of the dispenser -- like finding the edge of a translucent roll of tape, except my balls are dangling and there's a huge pile of feces shouting insults to my humanity.  It's disgusting.  Trying to hold my pants up with distended thighs, avoiding the lurch of the used TP bin, gravity beckons, and my head flushes with the panic of actually falling into the ochre mound of fetid defecate.  Dreary legs buckling, where's that infernal seam!

The floor length windows always deliver a sliver of sanity into this dungeon replete with dragons and the occasional dice roll.

And though I appreciate their duties and actually love them like distant relatives, the cleaning staff of the World Trade Center are prone to terroristic type entrances and tend to be on the slammy side of the closed-door debate.  Fine.  Clean your loudest.  Restock your gruffest.  Spray and wipe your most aggressively.  Just please keep that mop away from the imaginary safety zone of my stall.  But the year is 1939, my stall is Poland, and the mop's name is Helmut von Lichtenstein.  I cower and feel violated.  Unsafe.  The mop slurps and slithers while my white-knuckled fingers cling to the Financial Times. Oh the horror.  I just want to be free to do my work.  Frei macht arbeit!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nan Shan Insurance

Nothing makes me want to take a shit quite like indoor palm trees. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns.  But if shit ever goes down, Nan Shan Insurance has got your back and your backside.  After an introspective espresso under the faux fronds, head for the W.C. behind the ground floor guard.  Don't be afraid to push your bowels to their tidal limits.  This bathroom is a bunker. 


Racking up the points like an IBM tabulating machine at Auschwitz (oops, busted!) this bathroom scores on all accounts.  Full-length door, automated urinal, seat covers, soap and paper towels.  Need I say more?  Oh yeah, 2-ply toilet paper for that added insurance that all asses deserve.

Monday, November 7, 2011

T.G.I.F. (They Got Incredible Flare)

If you like good food, good fun, and a whole lot of…crazy crap on the walls ... Friday's promises an exhausting stroll down memory lane.  Problem is, it's someone else's grandma's memories and the foreign nostalgia just doesn't translate.  Tell that to the ripped black lace-legged gothic lolita waitstaff, hustling big smiles in front of pictures of Joe Dimaggio, Fats Domino, and Groucho Marx .  The main problem (besides the shitty food) is that they are sincere.  They really are happy to have a job at T.G.I.F., and don't quite understand why you, the victim of this cliché melee, aren't just Happy, OKAY?

The bathroom is lilliputianesque, yet one is never bereft of 1920s kitsch curios.  Clarinet while you piss, cigarette ad with your shit?  Alas, the spell is broken by an attendant roster, clinging to the door, harboring names scribbled in indecipherable glyphs.  Disenfranchised Chinese railroad workers are rolling over in forgotten, unswept tombs, dancing with irony in the devil's dollhouse of Coca-colonialism.   On a Friday.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gold Beach Inn, Kenting

PYRAMID toilet brand is almost as inappropriate as UNICORN underwear.  The Kenting seaside hotel bathrooms had no water pressure, shower doors, or decent lighting.  Fine for washing off sand but a bit too penitentiary for the price tag.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tandoor Indian

After a vindaloo, I'm in the loo!

The only thing nicer than a spicy curry, is a clean commode when you're in a hurry.   Though the clay plaque of John Barleycorn found no purchase amongst the quixotic bric-a-brac that served as decor. The checkerboard wall tiling cut a strident swath, hissing at the seashell framed wicker mirror, suspended over a sink from what must have been a Jules Verne nightmare. Together the ensemble says, evacuate your bowels,  fuck baroque, god is dead.