Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Surprising Bathrooms

I have, frequently, been rather suprised by some public bathrooms in Korea.

1. The first surprise, of course, was the squat toilet. If you've traveled in Asia before, you may have encountered this type of toilet. It's usually only found here in public bathrooms such as those at the subway, while homes and businesses have Western-style sitting toilets. Often you will find a choice of both styles, and a sign on the door of each cubicle will indicate what kind of toilet is inside. The squat toilet has pros and cons - On the plus side, your arse never has to touch the seat, but on the downside, you have to consider the splash-factor when peeing.

2. The second surprise bathroom I encountered was at a club in Seoul. I walked in, and there was not one, but two toilets, next to each other. I presume the idea is that you can relieve yourself at the same time as your friend, perhaps over a conversation.

3. The third is an unusual unisex set-up that I have found in at least three separate establishments (restaurants/bars), presumably where the original design of the building has been changed or where there wasn't much space. Basically, you open the outer door of the bathroom, and inside there is a sink and a urinal, and then you walk through to a separate cubicle with a toilet inside. So in theory, if you were a woman and went in to use the toilet, you may walk out again to find a man using the urinal. A potentially embarrassing situation indeed.

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