On the phenomenon of toilet cafes
Approximately one hundred years ago, this blog started life as a place where I could collect all the toilet news you never knew you wanted to know. A few years have passed since I’ve done anything regularly toilet-related, but today an email popped into my inbox about a toilet cafe which has opened in Jakarta. And I felt the time was right to have a look at the remarkable phenomenon of toilet cafes.
Yes. Cafes. There is more than one of them.
1. Cafe Jamban, Semarang, Central Java
The owner of this toilet cafe is a man after my own heart. He built the cafe because he cares about health and sanitation. “Three months ago, I opened the Jamban Café, which aims to highlight the importance of a toilet. I want to encourage people to learn about healthy living,” said Budi, as reported in The Jakarta Post.
And while I applaud the sentiment, I cannot get excited by a meal that looks like that.
2. Crazy Toilet Cafe, Moscow
Looking a little more novelty (and not quite so literal) is this offering from Russia. Diners sit on toilets, the cushions are poo-shaped and all the food and drinks are served in cute little toilet-inspired crockery.
“We think people will walk past, think ‘What on Earth is that?’ and then come in to check it out,” said general manager Inga Yaroslavskaya, as reported in The Guardian. “It’s not everywhere you can eat good food from a toilet bowl and drink from a urinal at very reasonable prices.”
3. Modern Toilet Restaurant, various locations, Taiwan
Then there’s the famous Modern Toilet Restaurant which has been a big hit in Taiwan. Cute little poo-shaped menus offer diners a selection of modern Taiwanese cuisine… served in toilet themed plateware, of course.
They are, according to their own website, “a group of muckrakers following our dreams. It all started when one of us was reading the manga, Dr. Slump on the toilet – and the rest is history.”
I suppose there’s a novelty experience for everyone! But even as a dedicated admirer of toilets and sanitation, I’m not sure if this is really my thing.
Chocolate ice-cream, anyone?