Sunday, September 27, 2009

Squatters Paradise...not so sweet!

So today someone asked me... "What are you most nervous about ?" I shrugged. Then I  took some time to ponder this question. What am I nervous about? I mean... sure the langauge barrier is going to be an issue, but I dont see it being that difficult to find a Korean language partner once I arrive in Seoul. So over the past couple of days I've been surfing the net, browsing a number of websites, claiming to be the travel FAQ for expatriate teachers. Scrolling through interesting cultural idiosyncrasies and laughing at my distinct extraordinary measurments in comparison to the Korean clothing size chart was comical to say the least.  Guess I won't be strolling into a Korean H&M  anytime soon! But that wasn't the worst of it people.The clothing issue I can work with, however I came across something that disturbed me. To your right, you will see a sign for I know what seems like a bob-sledding poster. Well, unfortunately that is a sign for a Korean toilet. What?!?! Yes that's right a Korean toilet. One squats in the leap frog position to do your business. Now me, finding solace in a comfortable toilet, was taken aback by this discvovery. So many questions came to mind after seeing this... How far do I have to pull my pants down to accomplish this? Am I going to be able to hover that long? What if I wear stockings? Is this sanitary? and worst of all what if I have diarreaha? Now I know these are not the most exciting or exactly P.C. questions to ask but they are practical. So then I decided to research this Korean public toilet further and found the next picture. Oh my! You may be saying to yourself WTF?
I'm sure you're wondering about the trashcan in the corner. Yeah, that's for your soiled toilet paper, because Koreans believe toilet paper clogs the drains! Two cheers for the poo paper basket in the corner! Now don't you fret, I do have a westernized toilet in my apartment. Phew!(wipping my forehead).Western toilets my also be found at McDonalds! Yeah for the golden arches. So if I am found outside of the confines of my apartment and must indeed use the bathroom I will pull a page from Paul Finch (American Pie) and make my way to my American home away from home Mickey D's ,to use the bathroom. Oh what other discoveries await me in South Korea?

*Confucius say: if one uses Korean john number two is no good for you


  1. This sounds like great leg but I will keep using the western johns until my visit to Korea.

  2. you really only find squatters in the subway and some public restrooms. but fret not, as you can *almost always* find a western toilet at then end of the bathroom. koreans can be so accommodating...

    ps, H&M isn't open yet. we only gots forever 21 here in seoul.