We’re gonna get shitty with today’s WTF?! Wednesday. And when I say shitty, I mean it in the most entertaining of ways possible.
Korea has this really odd fascination with poop, and well, poop is hilarious to me so it works out swimmingly. A past boyfriend and I always used to have long weird conversations about poop and all the whathaveyous of it, but that was in the privacy of our own banter (and apparently now the rest of cyber space). Little did I think that many years down the line I’d move to a country that for some strange reason has a very impassioned love affair with the matter. But I did, and I’ve documented the mosaic’d and artistically crafted shit throughout this weird country I live in.
Well, unbeknownst to me, the shitty (“city” said with a Korean accent) of Suwon is where the great Toilet Culture Movement started, and since it’s inception in the late 1990s by Mr. Sim Jae-duck (respectfully nicknamed Mr. Toilet), it has really swept the nation and beyond in an effort to improve the “toilet culture” for all mankind. His dedication to the cause birthed the Mr. Toilet House Museum, and I of course had to make a trip down there. So me, Andria and the beautiful Steven made an excursion down south to get educated in the culture of excrement.
Nestled deep in Suwon is Haewoojae, otherwise known as Mr. Toilet House. This museum and poop park used to be the home of Mr. Toilet, who after having been born in his grandmother’s toilet and nicknamed Gaetong-i (doggy poop), felt an intense connection to the porcelain God for the remainder of his life. His love of the toilet ranged from ensuring that toilets were hygienic and efficient, to remodeling his house in the shape of a toilet bowl. Talk about a passionate man!
When you first arrive at Mr. Toilet House, you are greeted by Toile, the mascot of the museum. He is a, and I quote, “cute little poop character” there to guide you on your journey through the world of toilet culture.
The museum is really bizarre, as you can imagine. It basically consists of old photos chronicling the growth of the Toilet Association, the evolution of the toilet since the 1950s, really graphic pooping statues, and different toilet symbols from around the globe. Shockingly, I have never seen any of these so I’m calling bullshit on them. But still, funny nonetheless.
My personal favorite big breasted woman enjoying some alone time.
In the middle of the bottom floor in Mr. Toilet House is the bathroom, which we only thought was for show. However, this bathroom is actually functional and pretty special because A) when the lights are turned on from the inside, you can watch everyone outside while you do your business, but the glass is opaque from the outside, and B) because Mr. Toilet hovers over you as you relieve yourself. He may even get a special treat as well (if he’s lucky!)
When you decide to exit the actual house, there is a poop park outside. This park shows the evolution of the toilet since the before Christ days.
Baby’s first toilet ~ Mom’s hand.
Years of perfecting that squat, and it still suffers from stage fright in Southeast Asia.
Cute pooping friends.
Some would say they do their best thinking on the toilet.
Stepping in shit has never looked or felt so awesome!
In all seriousness though, I guess we really can thank Suwon and Mr. Toilet for the cleanliness of the public restrooms in Korea. I was telling Jin this morning about our gallivanting at the Toilet museum, and she told me that prior to the 2002 World Cup in Korea, the public restroom situation was actually really disgusting. In order to make the facilities more appealing to the foreign community visiting Korea, the Toilet Association of Suwon stepped in to tidy things up. Since then, the “toilet culture” of Korea has been held to very high standards.
There is also a video at the end of the tour showing the devastation that comes from the lack of proper toilets in nearly 40% of the world. As a result, 2 million people die each year from waterborne contagious diseases. Ridiculous museum with a meaningful message, I suppose. I wonder if they actually donate the money from the Toilet Angels to fund toilet installation in less fortunate countries.
Happy pooping peeps, and remember: “The first thing a human being is required to do for sustainable life is to defecate. That is why feces can be such a ‘poo-tiful’ (beautiful) thing.”