Squat Toilets

As I’m ending my first year here in Korea, I’m thinking back to where I was a year ago; in preparing for this move, I was mostly scared to the point of regretting my decision to move here. But once here, I was glad I did it. I have not regretted the past 11 months. During orientation, they prepared us for life in Korea – in the school system, the culture and society… but they didn’t mention one thing… squat toilets.

On my first day of school, I was nervous. I wanted to make a good impression, and my co-workers were friendly and kind to me (they still are :)). During one of my breaks, I needed to use the restroom, so my youngest co-teacher showed me the way.

Here is what I saw (except my school does not give the kids toilet paper; my co-teacher said they’d “make a mess” with it):

So I go into the bathroom, and immediately think, “What the hell is that?! They didn’t tell us about these at orientation… how do I use it?” I eventually got the hang of it, and they aren’t so bad.

Except today. We are having our district camp at another school, and something has been weird with the water pressure at this school. While one of the sinks hasn’t worked, the toilets have been fine. But today instead of flushing properly, it sprays up and hits me in the back of my skirt and down my legs. EW. Right before the last period of the day. UGH. It is hard for me to laugh as my students are also in the bathroom saying “Ew,” but eventually I laugh it off… or try to anyway. The Korean teachers helped me clean up, so all was well. I’m still working on the whole “laughing it off” thing, but it definitely works!

Also: 2 weeks from today I will be on my way home! I have a lot to do before then, but I am so excited to be home August 9-26.
Another thing: This blog is called “Caitlin in Korea 1011 (for 2010-2011) and since I’m staying another year, I will either find a new blog or just stop blogging. My ideal solution is to find something I could post pictures and occasionally write on. Will keep you updated!


About caitlininkorea1011

An American living in Seoul, South Korea: teaching, learning, and traveling.
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2 Responses to Squat Toilets

  1. DB says:

    I am so happy to see they still have those there πŸ˜‰ As a Korean/American I was pretty shocked also, at 4 yrs old in 1970. That first time, my Korean uncle had to hold his arms like a chair (one arm so my legs could sit and one arm for my back) so I could go and not feel like I was going to be flushed down to the abyss. But, after living in Europe and visiting other countries I feel it is more sanitary than the toilets they have here. I especially like the toilets I found in Germany where you stand and hold on to a bar and lean back into a chair position, then the whole room flushes. Would be hard for a person with no arm/hand strength! Oh, and I like the foot flush peddles in Mexico much better than handles here. Ewwww!!!! πŸ™‚

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