Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Showering in Korea

If you go back to my early posts, you'll see a lot of emphasis on the Korean shower. I think the shower was my first- and biggest- culture shock in Korea. No kidding. I still talk about it after ten months, so I owe you some pictures and an explanation:



There are no shower stalls in Korea. The whole bathroom IS a shower stall, and the floor has a drain for the water. The shower head is usually connected to the sink, and located between the toilet and the sink. Therefore no room to roam around, or no room to stand directly below it.

Please note that the pictures above are not of my bathroom! Unfortunately not. I cannot even stand up straight in my bathroom. I promise you pictures next month. I'm still too ashamed to post them now.

So when you shower, the whole bathroom gets wet- which can be a good thing, since it cleans everything up. However the bathroom remains wet for a few hours afterwards, so if you want to go brush your teeth it's a bad idea to wear socks. Here come the plastic shower sandals that we slip on every time we must use the bathroom.

One of the best things about the Korean shower (besides easily keeping it clean) is the "steam room" feature- on cold days, I turn on the hot water and close the door and let it run for a minute or two. When I enter it, it feels like a steam room, it's quite nice. A real luxury considering what my bathroom looks like.

The bad thing is, I always need one hand to hold the shower head since I cannot stand below it, so showering is twice as long as usual. The water pressure is non-existent in my bathroom, and the water doesn't stay hot very long, so it's not always fun.

Yep, that's the Korean shower!

{Pictures from Flickr}

22 comments:

Adrian Monk said...

So some of Korean have to sit down when they shower :D to protect their toilet not to wet.

Emily said...

this is unreal. i remember these stories when you first realized the shower situation in korea, but i had to see it to believe it!

Rachel said...

This would kill me! I complain about our low water pressure in my shower, but I will stop complaining immediately. At least I have shower doors.

deep_in_vogue said...

oh honey, I'll send you some pictures from some BULGARIAN showers, that would get you feeling better, I promise :)

♥ fashion chalet said...

I am seriously humbled by your comments, always endearing always sincere!! I thank you so much, darling. :)

xx

ANDY said...

SHOCKING!!!lol
Yeah, I am wearing a tri-blend tank top from AA, I am in love with it!!!! You can pretty much wear it with absolutely everything..

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness! I'm not sure how I would handle this...you are a very strong woman for enduring the crazy shower hahaha

♥ fashion chalet said...

1979 and Tonight, Tonight were always on repeat!! :)

I'm so glad that you adore them as much as I do, and of course SATC, pure adoration indeed!! :)

xx

lacouturiernyc said...

wow - i'm so glad you have pictures!!!

xoxo,
La C.

seasonal lust said...

i feel you on this one!!! i've been to vietnam to visit and its the same ordeal. its funny how when i complained they looked at me like i was such a brat. if only they knew what they were missing...a real shower w/ real wall-hung shower-heads. then they'd wonder how they ever lived w/o it before. lol.

Vivian said...

Yes, it will be nice to have my first Western shower when I go back, although I'm so used to it by now!

Des said...

Now this brings back some funny memories. I had issues with two other things that I recommend you post. The first was the dryer. It was taking me like FOUR hours to dry my clothes and I couldn't figure out why. My landlord finally showed me that I needed to turn on the gas! lol. I felt like an idiot. Oh, and you also have to show some of the toilets there. I remember walking into several bathrooms where the toilet had like a MILLION different buttons on it. I was so intimidated. lol. It was like the indicator on a space shuttle or something. So I responded to your question in my comments section. I'm not sure if I'm suppose to post my answer there or here. I'm still learning proper blog etiquette but I promise I'll get there eventually.

Vivian said...

Des- yes!!! my clothes take forever to dry, especially in the winter. even if i turn on the heat, it's not strong enough. bummer!

about the high-tech toilets, i know what you mean. they're in some public places, and they have a heated seat, a bidet, and other functions i'm scared of. funny stuff!

thanks for stopping by :)

Maki said...

Hello:) I love Korea, actually Korean food to be precise. I landed via Nicole's. Wow! I didn't know Korean shower/bathroom is that small. I don't know if I like it...

I grew up in Japan where bathing in a deep tub is a norm, even American bathroom is tiny for me..

I love reading your posts and I will definitely be coming back to see your life in Korea:D

xoxo

Shannon said...

it's the same shower business in thailand too ^^;; i was surprised when i went to visit my friend there that she had the same kind of shower as me, haha. my bathroom last year was funny because it was actually in the space below the stairs in the building, so kinda hallway shaped...thin and long. at least that way, my toilet and tp always stayed dry.

hey, i'm jealous you have a dryer! i've been living without for two years. i just use a clothes rack to dry mine.

~shannon

Nicole Marie said...

OMG that's insane! i would have serious issues! Some public restrooms in italy were just a hole in the ground. Like a hole in the ground. We had to squat like we were 5 year olds peeing in the woods hahaha. I have no idea how the old ladys did it!

madeleinemiranda said...

Oh golly gosh what a nightmare!!! Can hardly believe that...

Had fun reading your post!

Take care,

Mademoiselle M.

xxx

Simone said...

Ha, that evokes old memories... because the bathroom in my first flat in London had the same kind of shower!

Savvy Mode SG said...

it lookds like a london shower from a hotel i stayed in a few years back. space saving.

maham said...

Frameless Shower Door have evolved like every other design feature in today's bathrooms.
If you're remodeling or building a full bath, chances are you will be tempted by this attractive design choice. Ordering a frameless shower door is a little bit like building an addition!

"D" a WASP said...

Delicia says: I lived without running water for almost a year and a half, in the USA. What did I do? I bought a solar camp shower and I learned this: soak yourself really well but quickly. Turn the water off. Lather up. Turn the water on and rinse. You say you have to use one hand to hold and the other for hair/body. Can't you rig something up to angle the shower correctly like a coat hanger or something? Or put a tube {like a noodle for swimming} over the shower head and extend it out then arrange it so you don't need any hand holding. Seems something could be done.

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