Tuesday, 12 May 2009

New Bike and...Serenity Toilet?

(By the way, I changed my settings to allow anonymous comments for those who don't have registered names. Just sign your name at the end so I know who you are though, if you decide to start leaving me comments ^^)

A bike seemed to be the easiest solution for both getting around the city and getting exercise on my way to and from school. I found a used bike for 60,000 won (about $55ish) that won me over instantly. It's blue like my Mini Cooper with a dash of white, a little worn and rusty, and exactly my size. In addition to standard bike function, it has shocks and a lever that allows you to fold it in half. A regular new bike would cost at least 120,000 won, so I feel really lucky to have found it. The shop owner also gave the entire thing a tune up, put on a new gear cover, cleaned it, and threw in a free bike lock.

At my apartment, I had to find a place to lock my bike. In the parking area, which makes up the ground floor of my building to either side of the front entry, I found a silver pipe affixed to a wall near the back. Just as I was leaning forward to wrap the bike lock around the pipe, I spied something unexpected in an inconspicuous gap between the wall and the concrete barrier to the left.

I have discovered that behind my building is a western style toilet, partly hidden, which can be accessed by both parking sections. It's behind the central column of the building where the stairs wind up; a tucked away outdoor alcove just beneath my feet as I ascend to the first floor. Perhaps it was put there by a Korean who publicly wants to hang on to their squat toilet traditions, but secretly sneaks down in the middle of the night with a newspaper to experience the seated glory of the western john. I am mesmerized.

It's in full working order, and only visible to someone looking down from their windows in the building next door. It is in no way practical, so I can only assume that this particular toilet is a path to enlightenment. When I'm ready to embrace it, oh yes, I'm using it.


  1. Don't forget your newspaper when you decide to embrace (or use) your new discovery because it appears there is no toilet paper on the dispenser. Be careful on your bike -- can you get a helmet? Love, Dad

  2. “Interesting” The things you take for granite… Wall-Door-Toilet

  3. Hehe, I don't think it's usual to find a toilet outside here. It would be like finding a running toilet behind an American apartment building. So bizzare.

  4. o,o; Wait...explain these Korean toilets to me? YOU SQUAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    HOLY MOLY that is not for me. I'm graceless enough as it is.