Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Masks, spit and other hygiene woes

This entry hopes to highlight some hygiene woes we have encountered while being in South Korea.

And yes, some of these woes are in the bathroom itself.

Although our bathroom (kitted out with sky and all) is wonderful, not all Korean bathrooms are as welcoming. As is the case in most countries, public bathrooms are scary!

But brace yourself, in Korea it is not always customary to flush your loo paper down the loo. The plumbing system in Korea is not too good so people have resorted to wipe and throw (in the dustbin) tactics.

This often isn't an issue but some places never check the loo and you end up with paper stacking up to crazy heights.

While on the topic of loo paper, it would be in your best interests to carry some tissues around with you because many public toilets will have none.

Other hygiene woes include spitting...men spit everywhere and it is becoming more common for women to spit in public too. Many women however wait until they are in the bathroom before they pull flem from some or other place deep within.

Furthermore, people tend to not cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing. So watch out for any flying mucus coming your way.

It is no wonder why some people decide to cover their faces with face masks. Instead of following basic hygiene practices, face masks are used widely.

What makes this bizarre perception of hygiene even more peculiar is how feet are obsessed over. You need to have shoes on at all times (probably to avoid the large clumps of spit everywhere) and you cannot wear outside shoes, inside.

So now you know, when you are in Korea you need to ensure that you cover you feet but don't worry about anything else, except for the fact that the only thing other people cover is their feet so there may be a couple of unwanted germs flying around!

Post by Claudia


Anonymous said...

i have lived in korea for 7 years now. had several "experiences" being spit on ( i managed to escape that one) by ajumma, and countless spits from men both young and old while looking right at me..maybe the nation is sick. they have highest frequency ratio of hospitals and clinics along with churches. sick bodily and in spirit..God help'em

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