Sunday, January 28, 2007

Potty talk

In a comment on my last post, Marie-Baguette asked me to share a bit more about life in Korea. Meanwhile, the most commonly asked question among many of my friends is "What does Mystery Man do all day, since he's not allowed to work?" So, in the spirit of multi-tasking, I've decided that to address these two topics at once.

We rent a lovely little apartment in Seoul. It's not large, but it's very well-designed and comfortable. My favorite feature is the traditional Korean heating system, which involves heating the floor and letting the heat rise. There's nothing lovelier than a warm floor on a cold day.

The one thing about our apartment that we really don't like is the bathroom. It has a number of design flaws, including a sink so big that it takes up 2/3 of the room, a toilet with an attitude, no bathtub, and a shower that's far too small for co-bathing, one of my favorite hobbies. The bathroom is designed around a concept that seems to be fairly widespread in Asia--the one central drain theory. Rather than having the shower separated from the rest of the bathroom by a barrier, the shower door stops about 10 cm short of the floor. There is also no drain in the shower. Rather, there is a trough-like drain under the shower door. The theory is apparently that the water will drain out as it rushes to escape into the rest of the bathroom. The reality is that the bathroom floor is pretty much always wet.

Yesterday, I was in the shower and heard a funny rattling sound. I looked down to see that the sound was being produced by water bouncing off of the beautiful new skirt that was now covering the gap under the shower door, preventing the regularly scheduled flood. It fits the door perfectly, and is clear, with bright green border. It adds just the touch of color that the bathroom was crying out for. I marveled at the fact that somehow, without speaking Korean, my beloved had managed to acquire such a thing.

When I asked him, he told me that he made it himself out of plastic bags and duct tape.


Anonymous said...

Creative guy! I would likely have lived with the wet floor and chalked it up to the experience of living away from home.

I think that travel, and particularly living/working elsewhere, is always an amazing mind-broadening experience.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is really old, and I'm not sure how I came across this, but I want you to know that this really speaks to how I feel right now, and it is so comforting to read my own thoughts coming from somebody else's experience:

The fact is that little in life can prepare you to have to make such potentially life-changing decisions, often with so little information, and with so little social support. Furthermore, while infertility feels like a crisis, the fact is that we usually have enough time to torture ourselves by mulling over every possible aspect of the decision, second-guessing ourselves time and time again.

Thank you!