Toilet Talk

My new office building has the automatic flushing toilets. What a novel idea this is. Props to the genius who invented this, cause it saves some of us from having to do the flamingo stance and use the bottom of our already-dirty shoe to push the has-it-ever-once-been-washed toilet flusher.

However, it seems like the first time I use the bathroom each morning at work, the auto-flusher startles me. I think it should beep once or something to remind me it's going to take action.

One time while shopping in Seoul with our friends from New Zealand (a mother and her 10 yr old daughter) we were rambling around a shopping area to get "traditional" Korean gifts for our family back home. My camera was having issues and was randomly eating batteries like candy and we headed off to a 7-11. How strange does that sound....we were with some New Zealanders in the capital of Korea at a 7-11. We are SO international.

Anyway, one of the group wanted to use the bathroom at 7-11 and they wouldn't let us and indicated we needed to go down a block to the public toilet...where we found this:

We had a great laugh over it all. You pay an undisclosed amount (okay, I've forgotten how much) -maybe 500 won, which is like 50 cents in US dollars. The door opens, you enter, the door closes. It warns you when it's about to open and you have the option to insert more coins or you get caught in a "situation." We simulated what might happen:

I would have preferred to have the auto toilet at ALL locations in Korea, as opposed to the old style of toilets-the hole in the ground kind. They are a good test of your sense of balance and strength in leg muscles. They also do not provide toilet paper. You can buy it almost anywhere-it comes in a pack like we would buy travel Kleenex.

I had read about the toilets before moving to Korea, so it wasn't a big shock, and I think overall it was good for my leg muscles. I also learned to pee FAST, as most of the times, there were no doors on the bathroom stalls and most often, the bathrooms smelled horrible.

Americans are so spoiled with our automatic flushing toilets.



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