Since arriving in Korea I have found a number of things to be very different from home. Here are some of the stranger ones. Enjoy
In our office we have a small kitchenette. At the kitchen sink there are two pump bottles with cute pictures on it. One is for washing your hands, and one for washing the dishes. So guess who got it wrong a few times until a Korean coworker showed me which is which? Yup- me.
This one is still very weird. The kitchen sink is huge. Like the size of a double sink back home, and three times as deep. It does not have a plug. Instead, it is fitted with a sieve bucket which catches all the bits and pieces you don’t want to flush down the drain. The bucket has a lid, which kind of doubles as a plug. It’s not very effective. It also takes a lot of water to get your dishes done, and you have no separate part for rinsing.
By now you should know that Koreans do not wear shoes inside their homes and offices.When you enter an apartment, school/office, traditional Korean restaurant and some business establishments you will be asked to take of your shoes. You will be supplied with a pair of guest slippers (something in the line of those black and white Adidas sandals). Here is the catch – you need to wear socks with the slippers. I remember making fun of tourist back home wearing sandals with socks, and now I am the owner of very cute socks since I wear them way more than shoes. TIP: Always carry a pair of secret socks in your handbag for when you have to take off your shoes.
I don’t know if it is a space issue, or why, but Korean bathrooms do not have a separate shower. The shower head is not fitted; instead it can be handheld or mounted on the wall. And that’s it. A drain will be somewhere on the floor (usually next to the toilet). Your bathroom and shower is one space. TIP: Buy an expandable rod and shower curtain at Daiso. It will cost you about 10,000\, but at least it will keep your toilet seat dry!
There are no three point plug outlets, which can easily be solved by using a converter. That’s not the strange thing, though. The power outlets have not switch. You have to unplug all your appliances in order to ‘switch it off’.
This one freaks me out! Firstly, you cannot buy a single roll of toilet paper. You have to buy a bulk pack. This is OK, just a little weird to travel down the road with your 50 rolls of toilet paper. There are smaller packs, but they also cost a lot more. If you came to Korea to save money, these are the things you will look out for. Secondly, there are only three ply toilet paper available. I have yet to find two or single ply. The next issue I have with toilet paper is the flushing, or lack of flushing. In most public spaces you will see a notice not to flush the toilet paper, instead you throw it in a bin. This is gross. Especially in the subway bathrooms where the bins are always overflowing. I guess if you try to flush a bunch of three ply toilet paper down the drain, it will eventually clog up, but KOREA, start making two ply – problem solved. This is a prime example of Korean logic!
Keep an eye out for my next post: Korean Logic, it’s a thing.