Friday, September 10, 2010
We found these signs outside a subway bathroom. Why the government spent money on creating signs such as these for their public bathrooms I have no idea. There are a lot of things about Korea I will never understand, these signs being on the top of that list. But in my mind the conversation went something like this;
Government official in charge of bathrooms (We'll call him GOB): We need a sign outside the bathroom.
Sign maker: I have the perfect sign. Picture this, a mom and her daughter smelling a sunflower with the bright sun shining on their perfect doll like features.
GOB: I agree, that is perfect.
Supervisor aka: decision maker: Wait, what does that have to do with a toilet?
Sign maker: bathrooms make people happy.
Supervisor: Agreed, but what if we made the sign relate a little more to the bathroom.
GOB: hmmmm... like a mirror?
Sign maker: Or a sink.
Supervisor: I mean what if the Koreans don't know what the bathroom is for. I mean, we are using western style toilets rather than squatter toilets that we usually use in public places. Koreans are likely not to even know what these mysterious toilets are for.
GOB: Your right! Squatting over a hole in the ground, without toilet paper available is what Korea is known for. Why did they westernize this bathroom to a toilet monstrosity. Those westerners can continue to fall all over themselves on the dirty, pee laden floor. We shouldn't cater to their needs.
Supervisor: Of course I agree, but what is done is done and upright toilets are what we have. Now we need a sign so that Koreans aren't confused.
Sign maker: I know I know!
Sign maker: Oh wait, Can I tell you have to I go tee tee? (as he is doing the infamous pee pee dancing, crossing his legs jumping up and down)
Supervisor: Sign maker, you are a genius. If we have signs of people doing the "pee pee dance" they will undoubtedly understand what the bathrooms are used for. Get on it!
And that was the genesis of these amazing signs! Or at least in my mind.