Shower Heads and Toilets

by Jinryu

At 7:15AM, having a bit of trouble staying asleep, I was in the shower.

It doesn’t sound like anything new to people in Korea or perhaps even Asia in general, but back in North America most bathrooms have an actual bathtub or shower stall.  The water you use doesn’t go anywhere except the walls of the stall or against curtains, and then it drains, probably right under or near your feet.  In Korea, the majority of places have a sort of setup where water drains into room-centered drain.  Sometimes, this is the same drain as your sink. While it is true that things are ‘modernizing’ (if we are to assume that a shower stall is something progressive) a lot of places, including my apartment in Korea, don’t have curtains or a significantly separate showering area.  That means that while I’m showering, it’s really possible to wet my sink or even my toilet, because there isn’t really any design effort put into dividing the ‘wet area’ from a ‘dry area’.  The drain for the shower is actually under the bathroom sink, so, when showering, the water just drains into the middle of the room.


It’s not uncommon for you to be taking a dump and you have to lift up your pant legs so they don’t get wet.

The thing about living in an apartment is that I’m cheap.  While one of the other teachers’ gas bills was about 65000 won (70 dollars Canadian), mine was a mere 15000.  I don’t need the heat.  Maybe it’s because he’s from Florida and I’m from Montreal, so it has something to do with the way we’re trained.  But a few days ago, the pipes to my toilet started to freeze.


This wasn’t a very pleasant experience. I went out to an all you can eat galbi place that night and so when I got home, I really needed to take a real dump. Imagine my surprise when the toilet barely flushed.


As days progressed, it got to the point where the toilet’s drainage pipes were so frozen that a full toilet of water would take about one hour to drain.



This morning, I really really wanted to use that toilet.  I don’t have a plunger though.  Although, a plunger wouldn’t make much difference if it’s really ice.


So what I did is I duct taped my showerhead to the wall and had it spray hot water into the toilet bowl.  After about 10 minutes— shwooooooomp!  It flushed!


And now it’s flushing like brand new!


Yes, I’m such a genius.


I walked into the sunrise to get to my 9:00am class listening to “We are the Champions,” and I was quite happy with myself.