Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dinkum Dunnies

I must say that toilets are an issue for me while travelling in Asia. I like a decent toilet - just like the one at home - where one can sit to "go". I don't like the squat ones that are common in these parts.

In my apartment my loo looks just like the one at home, and for this I am grateful. Actually they are becoming more common in China as well as here in Korea. In the university here there are two cubicles in the WC on the floor on which I work and one is a squat and the other is (near) normal. I'll explain in a second.

When shopping in E-mart yesterday I noticed that they sell a wide variety of things - probably more than an Aussie K-Mart and Coles in combination. I was up on the third floor where the clothes were and a bizarre selection of other items. The dog food for example was not in the supermarket but up with the clothes. The range of fancy items for the pet dog was impressive. I don't recall seeing a cat or a dog since I have been here, but the dog accessories aisle is full of fancy items so perhaps the little moggies and doggies are sitting up in the high rise apartments with all their stunning accessories.

But back to the loo story. Not far from the clothes, and the pet accessories was a row of plumbing items. Including toilet seats. The most fancy toilet seats you can imagine in a wide variety of colours and designs. And in amongst it was a seat that was similar to the one in the university WC.

I stared at it - it has a panel to the right of the seat which you obviously need knowledge of Korean language to comprehend. Buttons to turn on one feature or another. Now that is the dilemma. I have no idea what they do. I have no idea what button to push. When do I push it? What will it do?

One day I am sure to find out - I will ask one of my students - but for the moment it is a puzzle.

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