(This brief post floated to the top of a pile of draft posts left over from 2017 I was cleaning up at the end of 2018 and thought was mildly amusing and/or still relevant. Please disregard if it does nothing for you.)
I started writing a list of things that are different in the UK since the last time I visited three years earlier. But after noting that British toilet paper was vastly more luxurious, thicker and stronger than I remember it being, certainly compared to the flimsy inferior single-ply stuff we have in my Japanese home, I found myself getting bored with the whole damn list-writing thing.
Things change. Some things don’t. People change or not. We are who we are. It is what it is. Yawn.
But I think there is something to the objectively increased strength of British bog rolls. At first clutch, it seems a terrible waste to be flushing such quality down the pan. I’ve painted watercolours on thinner paper than Britain uses for its business (although, admittedly, they were pretty crappy also) but then I consider there is a lot more shit Britons have had to deal with since I last dropped by.
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Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. He lives in Abiko with his wife and two daughters.