"In Japan, I excused myself from a business meeting to use the restroom. I looked for the handle to flush, but instead saw a keypad in Japanese. I chose a button, and a jet of water from inside the bowl sprayed all over me. I soaked up as much as I could with paper towels. My polite Japanese hosts continued the meeting without a word about my issues." Dave Blake, Chandler, Ariz.
"We bought a bottle of white wine to take back to our hotel in Sorrento, Italy. Since the wine wasn't chilled, I went to the lobby bar and tried to ask for ice and a receptacle. I was given a glass with 10 very small cubes. I scoured the room for a makeshift bucket. The bathroom sink was too small, but the bidet—filled with cold water and the ice cubes—worked just fine!" Sue Nelson, Portland, Ore.
"At our hotel in Nice, France, I told our daughters to wash their hands before dinner. They had been in the bathroom for five minutes when I asked what was taking so long. 'Mom, we washed up so well in the baby sink!' they said with pride. I explained that the 'baby sink' was a bidet, upon which they asked the inevitable question: 'What's a bidet?'" Christina McGraw, Sammamish, Wash.
"As we settled into our Florence hotel, we discovered an out-of-control frothing bidet. I found a maid, whose eyes got big when she saw the mess. She yelled down the hall, and another maid came. They exchanged a few words, glanced at me, and burst into laughter. I suspect they said something like, 'Was she trying to shampoo her hair in the bidet?'" Maryka Biaggio, Portland, Ore.
"While in a Peruvian village, my friend Gladys used the bathroom—a hole in the ground. Later she realized she was missing her phone. We ran back and fished around with sticks. We submerged the phone in a Clorox bath and wrapped it in a bag. The phone rang! It was her husband. We told him our story—but all he could really hear was a crinkling bag." Bonnie Laycock, Wichita, Kans.
"My mother and my aunt weren't about to let their age stop them from their Cosmos tour to Europe. The pair of octogenarians took part in every activity and enjoyed the friendship of their much younger tour companions. And after a day spent touring the Vatican proved too much for her tired, aching feet, my mom even improvised a refreshing spa treatment." Merry Noel Reed, Portland, Ore.