Monday, January 21, 2008

My Biggest Fear Living in South Korea

A SQUAT TOILET!!!! They seem to be more common in places like the Incheon Airport and in the subways but I found this one while waiting for Curt (hubby) to get his Korean driver's license. I have not found a squat toilet in a restaurant or at the large department stores. When I have found them in the subway, the sign on the bathroom door has a picture of the squat toilet so you know before you enter what you will encounter.
Luckily, I haven't had to use one. In this case, all the stalls were squat toilets except for the handicap stall so that is what I used. My Korean girlfriends said that the handicap stall is really only for the handicapped but they understood my need to use that stall. I asked them why Korea just hasn't updated all their toilets from squat to conventional toilets. The reason is that some of the older ajummas (older Korean women) wouldn't know how to use one.
Also, do you see any toilet paper in the stall? You never find toilet paper in public bathrooms so make sure you carry your own. So you wonder what the garbage can is for? That's to throw away your used toilet paper that you brought with you because you don't flush toilet paper in South Korea (but I do). The gas station we usually use gives us a free packet of tissue as a gift every time we fill up so I have accumulated a boxful already in the six months we've been here.


A life of Assorted Nuts said...

I remember those when I was stationed at Osan AB. They were in all the clubs I went to. Either that, or you shared the bathroom with the men. They used a single urinal that stretched the wall... at least those were regular toilets.

It's hard to go to the bathroom squatting.

Helena said...

I managed to avoid the squatters for the first couple of months and then had to use one--the first time kind of freaked me out but I actually came to prefer them, at least in public restrooms. I like them because you don't have to touch anything.

CreekHiker said...

Becky, They really aren't that bad. I'm with Helena... it's nice not having to sit in someone else's mess! They really are cleaner in a lot of ways.

Becky said...

Sorry girls, I'm with "a life of assorted nuts", it's hard to go to the bathroom squatting. At least for me and I don't want to practice to get better at it.

CreekHiker said...

Becky, I'm a farm girl and grew up in the woods... squatting is the only way to go! LOL!

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