PEEING AT TAO
Entrance to Tao
Years ago in one of my other lives, I was invited with my wife to Tao, a fancy NYC restaurant. Tao is an Asian style restaurant. It is one of the fanciest, most expensive restaurants New York City. It is a very popular celebrity hangout. It is not as I was immediately chastised for calling it, a Chow Mein Palace.
Dining area in Tao
At some point in the evening I needed to use the restroom. At Tao you say “Excuse me; I’ll be back in a moment,” not “Be right back, I gotta pee.” I learned this piece of etiquette via a very humbling and painful elbow-to- the-rib correction.
Tao is a large restaurant, but I found the restrooms with little effort. Determining which room to use was not so easy. One door was marked “Otoko,” with a weird Asian symbol resembling a stick horse. The other was marked “Onna,” with a weird stick figure resembling a cow. I stood perplexed for a while until a young lady exited the door marked Otoko. I assumed the stick horse represented women in the Asian world, so I entered the stick cow room.
“EEK!! GET OUT YOU IDIOT, THIS IS THE LADIES ROOM!!”
My assumption was flawed.
Apparently I was not the only idiot; the lady I saw coming out of the stick horse room was just as stupid.
I realized my mistake and quickly dragged my Otoko ass into the Otoko room. The Otoko room was more complex than any Otoko room I have ever been in.
This room had what looked like a sink with constant running water from a fancy faucet. This sink spilled over to another smaller sink which then spilled over to a drainage trough. Was it a fancy sink, or a fancy urinal? Opposite the sink/urinal was a large wall beautifully decorated with expensive tile. Water ran continuously down the wall and collected at the bottom in another drainage trough. As I am not sophisticated I did not know if I should piss in the sink/urinal, or piss on the decorative wall.
Fortunately for me Tao has a man in the Otoko room whose job is to point to the wall and say “You pee over here sir” and when you are done and wash up in the sink/urinal he hands you a towel.
I thought I was a big shot when I handed him a dollar for his service. Turns out in Tao I should have given him two dollars.
If you pee in the sink, you might want to slip him a fiver.