Saturday, July 14, 2007

Female Urinals and other Toilet Humor

Ok, so it's not humor so much as humorous, in an odd sort of way.

Korea does have western toilets. The ones that look just like every other toilet in the U.S., except across the board, their public toilets are cleaner. Quite possibly they are cleaner than the ones in your home. And some wonderful hotels I could name as well as a restaurant or two and even a subway stop have the seat attachments that add a bidet to the toilet. The one that impressed me the most also had water temperature control and a massager built in.

Other places -- including another subway station -- had what I will call "female urinals" because "pee troughs" sounds weird. And who knows, I might even be correct. I would've asked what they were called, but no one I ran across in Korea would've understood the question. I digress, fun with language is for another blog.

These urinals looked quite similar to a man's urinal, only they lay horizontal in the floor, and were pretty shallow (meaning that they did not go deeply into the floor, nor rise much above it). Water was pushed from one end to the other in a constant flow, and as you can imagine, that flow of water served the city's sewage needs.

It was a lot like squatting in the woods, except that there were no five-leafed plants nearby. And no grass to get tickled by, either.

There also was more often than not no toilet paper. It took me two days to realize that the toilet paper by the sinks were for drying one's hands and for taking into the toilets. By then I was down to my last kleenex in my purse, so it was good timing. Now I had seen a younger woman use the TP for hand-drying, but it wasn't until I witnessed three older women stock up on a length of it before entering their stall that the light bulb went off in that department. There's a reason we've historically turned to our elders for wisdom, folks!

In the U.S. everything is sold in a restroom from aspirin to condoms to diapers. In Korea, toilet paper is sold in those same types of wall vending machines. Condoms can be found for free in your hotel room in the amenities basket*. It did, however, take me most of my entire trip over there to find one with enough English on it to know what it sold. That bit of knowledge might've come in useful from the getgo!!

All in all, Korea was very accommodating to westerners and locals alike, and not just in the restrooms. For more stories illuminating why I'd go back in a heartbeat, be sure to check back!

*teaser for another story to come.

1 comment:

MoJoe said...

What, no pics of the pee troughs?
~joe