Culture / Lost in Translation

Because bathroom stories are funny

The sign outside the boys’ bathroom on the fourth floor says “tolet.” I don’t know what’s funnier: that it’s on the English floor or that it took me about three months to notice it. …

The way the bathroom was designed allows anyone walking by to see the students standing and using the urinals. The layout of our school and the windows in the classrooms mean that I can be teaching in the third-grade classroom and look out and see who is in the bathroom. Of course, there is a door, but the boys never close it. Because bathroom time to me means private time, this is awkward. …

The tolets are in there. In case you couldn't see for yourself.

The tolets are in there. In case you couldn’t see for yourself.

But it’s not as awkward as going into a unisex bathroom that doesn’t lock. Inside, you’ll find a urinal and a stall that locks. This could result in walking past a man using the urinal when entering or leaving. This luckily hasn’t happened to me yet. I have come out of the bathroom to find a man waiting to come in, so somehow he must’ve known someone was in there and waited. …

And then there’s the squat toilet. You’ll find squat toilets across Asia and in parts of Europe. Somehow I’d managed to avoid them until I moved to Korea. For all the people who think it’s more natural to do your business while squatting, more power to you. I prefer my “throne.” It’s not too often when I’ve had to use squat toilets here in all honesty. Usually bathrooms in bus or subway stations will have both types of commodes and I can just wait it out for the proper stall. Of course, that one time when the food doesn’t agree with you, you really need to go and the person in the regular stall is taking FOREVER, you might need to use the squatter. And of course at that time, you might be on a high-speed train. …

Matt claims to avoid the squatters at his school at all costs.

Matt claims to avoid the squatters at his school at all costs.

You might also like my high-tech toilet gone wrong story, here.


2 thoughts on “Because bathroom stories are funny

  1. I never even considered the IDEA of a “squat toilet”, let alone looked at a picture of one or had to deal with the option of possibly using one. I WILL say that I was at a music venue two nights ago that had such a dirty toilet situation that squatting seemed like the only option….and in that moment it might as well have been a “squat toilet”! Either way, funny post and good job to both of you for avoiding them for so long! I bet that amazingly there are actually people that prefer them.

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