Monday, January 26, 2009

NO...I don't live in a third world country...but....

A friend of mine wrote me today...his yesterday...or more correctly my yesterday from the states asking me about my accommodations. I thought that was an odd question to ask, after all it isn't like South Korea is a third world country. There are all the modern things such as gas, electricity and running water. They are producers of all kinds of technology and my cell phone can do things that I haven't figured out yet to include giving me a wake up call in the morning (and if you have a snooze problem...this phone will call you back up to 20 times in one - five minute intervals...hmmm I wonder how many of these cell phones would be thrown at a wall).

Anyway, I digress. As I was describing my minimalistic apartment with the low platform bed, my routine appliances, it hit me. I had the bathroom of well...absent of a bathtub. Bathtubs are extremely rare in Korea. I don't even have a shower per say...to be more precise this wonderful invention is called a shower sink. A hose that is connected to the facet. The bathroom is a shower room, completed with a toilet and drain in the floor. What I am grateful for is the water is always hot and that I live alone.

Ah, but don't feel sorry for me. Out of this great lack Korea has created a wonderful place called the Jjimjilbang, which are gender segregated bath houses that provide saunas, massages, and yes...a place for me to take a bath. That is an entry for another day. I think then I will be able to answer my friend's other question, what is it like to be a minority here in South Korea...more telling in a bath house.

3 comments:

lionmother said...

At least you have a shower hose.:) I like the idea of the public bath houses. You almost have luxury with the massages, etc. When we visited India we were in a YMCA for one night and the shower was like a locker room shower. But at least we had a toilet. In most native Indian places it was only a hole in the floor, even on a train! At least for the native Indians. They had a normal one for us.That was in the '70s. I'm not sure if it's like that now.LOL At that time the cab drivers used to use a trench in the street. Yuck! But I'm sure that must be changed now. I hope.

Barbara (from facebook)

Marilyn said...

Thank God for indoor plumbing...ah...for more bathroom tales...I guess I will have to actually share the conditions I do run into. I guess it is like the one question you think of when you travel anywhere...like with astronauts in space...and the question of what the hell do they DO do if something goes wrong.

Mark said...

It is the same as Japan and I'm quite used to it now after a couple of years. In some bathrooms, there's also a washing machine covered by a shower screen as well. It's also convenient to be able to wash yourself and the bathroom at the same time.... the number of times I've been scrubbing mould off the tiles while naked with shampoo in my hair is numerous. =)