Elwood 5566

I was Butt Plugged by a Korean Kiddy…

Posted in customs, Korean children by 노강호 on July 14, 2011


Pinch a Korean man or boy’s nipple and they’ll accuse you of perversion (변태) but you can stroke and touch them everywhere else (except in the most obvious of places), and they won’t see anything wrong with it. Even the bum hole isn’t exempt a digital delving though this is a jokey pastime of kids and much more likely to occur between children or from children to adults. It would be extremely odd for an adult to start surprising his or her work colleagues with a digital ‘ddong-ch’im.’ Apparently, manual butt-plugging, as a form of humour, is widespread across east Asia and has a long history.  Naturally, there is an association between the ddong-ch’im, and that other Korean obsession, poo!

ddong ch'im - shit needle / shit injection

a popular perversion

note, how the buttocks are tightly clenched. I'm not sure about the facial expression as it somewhat resembles a blow up doll

But the actual purpose of this post was to expose an excellent Korean game I discovered, entitled JJileo-jjileo which being at the juncture where poo meet ‘the finger,’ brilliantly demonstrates more Korean customs and humour. Enjoy… (Note– I have recently noticed the game breaks down after several minutes, hopefully this is only temporary –  for an interesting insight however, it is still worth a visit).

click to enter game

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Nothing God Makes is Useless

Posted in Comparative, Entertainment, Korean children by 노강호 on March 3, 2011


more stuff on Korean pooh

I’ve read Puppy Pooh (강아지똥), politely renamed in English, The Dandelion Story, in Korean, I have the book, and though I didn’t understand much, the pictures were great. Naming it the Dandelion Story, as the play production was named in Edinburgh, so as not to offend British sensibilities, does a great job of predicting the direction the story is going to take. If I was the author I’d be pissed off at a title that destroys all expectations before you even get a chance to formulate them.

I recommend watching the animation in Korean before watching it in English; even if you don’t understand Korean, or very little, the Pooh seems cuter speaking  Korean and like the dandelion, will quickly endear themselves to you. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe a dog shit could be so lovable!




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Minimal Intervention – Toilet Technology

Posted in 'Westernization' of Korea, bathhouse Ballads, Blogging, Comparative by 노강호 on November 10, 2010

but what;s inside is a gamble


This month the Korean census is being compiled and on Sunday afternoon I was visited  by a friendly woman who took my details. Handing me the census form to complete, I sat at my desk by the front-door while she knelt on her knees so her shod feet hung over the small entrance where you leave your shoes. From that position she could just manage to offer me assistance without taking her shoes off and entering my one-room proper. With her at my feet looking up, I felt a little like a Buddha.


an unpleasant experience and even worse if there's no toilet paper


One of the questions on the census asked if my ‘one-room’ toilet is ‘sit-down’ or ‘squat’ and it would seem that the ‘sit-down’ toilet is more desirable or ‘classy’ than a ‘squat’ job and this might suggest that the proliferation of  such toilets is part of the ‘westernization’ of Korea. Not only are Koreans being encouraged to eat western shit in the form of  fast-food, but they are being encouraged to expel it whilst seated. I’ve had my fair share of squatting in countries like India and Morocco and having to do so in Korea always reminds me of unpleasant digital incursions necessitated by a lack of toilet paper. Of course, Korea has toilet paper, or at least it’s available but if you’re using a toilet away from home there is a probability that  both the toilet you are forced to use and you yourself, are tissue-less and hence a digital dredging will be required. Last time I encountered such a situation I was fortunate that both a hose lay in the  cubicle and a handkerchief  in my pocket (Emergency Dump)


Personally, the idea of squat toilets are rich in unpleasant associations but they do offer some advantage on the seated toilet bowl. Firstly, they conform to the Korean ideal of ‘well-being’ in that they ideally align the body to provide the greatest expulsion of waste and in the process help reduce or retard the development of hemorrhoids. Secondly, much less ‘skinship’ is required squatting and most notable are the fact you don’t have to sit on what is a public seat and neither do you have to reach for the  sheets from a communal toilet roll. Nothing is worse than having to sit on those stainless steel toilets in British public conveniences which look great if regularly cleaned, but when not are tarnished with stains of unspeakable origins.


I notice many K-bloggers don’t like squat toilets but for those who have traveled and have more than one frame of  reference, even the worst Korean public toilets aren’t that bad; they actually have partitions and doors, are usually made of porcelain, have running water, and there’s never a sea of shit six feet from your backside.  Regardless of where you are in the world, shitting anywhere but in your home is a gamble and the worst you can expect in Korea is a lack of toilet paper,  some bad smells and the need to squat. And unlike some of the more ‘developed’ countries in which I’ve traveled, you’re unlikely to encounter anything ‘seedy.’ I once wet for a piss in a toilet in Denver and what I witnessed can be left to the imagination.  Yes; Korean public toilets often lack toilet paper and they can be basic and require that you squat  but in the scale of things this isn’t that bad. But Korea is full of surprises and it is just possible to discover that the emergency toilet is not only impeccably clean but creatively designed. Last winter, on my way to Seoul, the bus pulled-in at what in the UK would be  ‘motorway services.’  The gents toilet was amazing with a large central, glass atrium which filled the toilet with natural light and under which a large garden flourished. There were even a number of showers. Many bloggers seem to think Koreans have a monopoly on dirty toilets and not  only could I cite truly unpleasant toilet experiences, but also that you don’t necessarily need to travel beyond Britain or the USA to find them.  I’ve taught in British schools where students would piss or shit on the floor because they thought it amusing and I have even seen examples where kids would jam a whole toilet roll in the ‘S’ bend and then cap it with a shit.  Every country has unclean toilets and  a lack of toilet paper does not make a toilet ‘dirty’ it just means you should have carried tissues with the same zeal in which you carry a bottled water in summer.


a luxury toilet


I  am tempted to refer to the toilet on which you sit as ‘comfortable.’ Of course, this is a  culturally orientated value judgment as Koreans do not find squatting, either on a toilet or waiting for a bus, uncomfortable. It isn’t that a Korean wouldn’t want to read a book or newspaper while squatting, but that to do so seated is preferable. The difference is much the same between that of a stool and an armchair;  a stool is great for milking a cow or weeding the garden but if you want to watch TV or read a novel, an armchair is much nicer.


control console


alternative control console


Basically, Korea has four classes of toilet which may be designated squat, seated, luxury-seated and deluxe-seated. The three classes can be further classified by four bands based on cleanliness: very bad, bad, okay, super nice. The UK, on the other hand, only has one class of toilet, ‘seated’ and though  UK toilets can be ‘super nice’ in terms of cleanliness, I have yet to witness a ‘luxury’ or ‘deluxe’ toilet though it’s been rumoured for a  long time that the Queen has one.


Hyundai's electronic bidet


Both Korea and Japan have taken the western style toilet and transformed it into a luxury item which has invested bathrooms and toilets with the same comfort one would expect in a bedroom or front room.  If the ubiquitous British toilet is suitable for reading and relaxation, the Korean luxury toilet provides the comfort in which to enjoy the marathon epics of Tolstoy and Wagner.  Many Koreans households now have toilets fitted with an additional tier which is plumbed and wired-in to create a crapper with the  same sophistication  as the Starship Enterprise. Among the state of the art additions are features such as a toilet lid which raises and closes at the touch of a button or even automatically as you enter or leave the toilet. Koreans love heat under them and so a heated toilet seat is ideal. Cleaning you arse properly never really caught on in the UK  and only on the rarest occasions have I ever seen a bidet in a British home. A  recent survey revealed 1 in 4 British commuters had fecal matter on their hands (Telegraph. UK) which would suggest either sinks by a toilet are a rarity or us Brits wash our hands in the toilet bowl before flushing it.  Meanwhile,  over 70% of  Japanese households have a bidet and Korea is rapidly catching up.


Korean toilet fixtures provide a high-tech control console from which to activated a bidet and by which the temperature, force, and location of the spray are controlled. Once douched, an anal-dryer kicks-in and blow-dries the entire area. So, far, only one digit has been required to complete a procedure that formally required at the very minimum, an entire hand. Equipped with musical accompaniment, the ability to automatically inject a variety of scents into the air as well as instantly sucking out  foul smells  from almost the exact point of their origin, deluxe models sanitize the entire process and take poo-ing where no one has gone before.


a luxury toilet (link to 'Sharon')


A luxury toilet in my last high school


There seems to be some discrepancy about whether toilet paper should be used before activating the bidet. Some sources suggest ‘wiping away’ excess matter, some suggest ‘patting’ it partially clean, which I guess means removing any ‘crumbs’,  while others opt for the immediate activation of the anal shower unit. I guess it all depends on the consistency of your crap and certainly, while you might be able to ‘pat’ a bum clean that has just expelled the remnants of a Korean diet,  a western diet will render a much stickier, chocolaty mess totally impervious to anything but a vigorous wiping.  The luxury of a hands-free crap, of cleaning your backside without any form of manual intervention is probably only possible on a diet high in fibre and as most waygukins who eat Korean food on a daily basis, will testify, this is achieved when what you expel looks much the same as when ingested. If the contents of your toilet bowl resemble last nights kimchi-stew, your bowels are blessed with  ‘well-being’ and a bidet will free your hands completely.


High School toilets, when kids clean them themselves they are less tempted to piss or shit on the floor


And often other luxurious bathroom innovations can be found. I worked in one academy where a kids toilet had been designed and not only were there a miniature urinal, sink and sit-down toilet, but the room itself was less than two meters high and the door by which you entered was miniature. The entire bathroom was like something from a doll’s house.


toilets for kids


great idea


For super clean hands, even after crapping 'hands-free' style, nothing purges loitering microbes like the ultra-violet hand dryer.


Korean toilets, the shape of things to come...


There is so much more to Korean toilets and ablutions than squat loos and lack of toilet paper and putting up with a little discomfort, which could just as well occur ‘back home’ seems to distract some many bloggers not just from what else is out there, but also the usefulness of their experience as a subject. So, next time you find yourself caught short and in a squat toilet with no tissue paper…


and then go write about it!


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Emergency Dump!

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Diary notes by 노강호 on September 4, 2010

You’re not supposed to write pooh stories! Actually, a few months ago someone made some nasty comments about an article I wrote about pooh humour. Anyone who has a problem with pooh stories is simply anal and needs to loosen up! Anyone who has traveled outside the domain of Club Med 18-30, anyone who has had to eat a drastically different diet or squat and then clean their bum from a tin can of water using their hand, knows the subject can be very entertaining and is well worth writing about, for all sorts of reasons.

Every Friday, I eat lunch with my boss; not an occasion to talk about pooh!  Usually we go somewhere a little further afield than the area  in which we live. I’d woken up early and started working straight away and didn’t each breakfast until around 11 am, which was no problem – except I’d cooked bean soup (된장 치게) and eaten it with some kimchi and acorn curd (두투리묵). The fuse for such food, especially without rice, depends on the individual, but mine is about an hour. If liquids are consumed, and I’d had several cups of coffee, it can be as little as 45 minutes. But I so engrossed in my writing, I was completely oblivious to my mistake.

Pooh on a bag

My boss calls at 11.30 and we drive off to the area fronting Keimyung University. Fifteen minutes later and we are sat in chicken bar. Its predominantly a beer bar that sells chicken by night and predominantly a chicken bar that serves beer in daylight hours, they’re all over Korea. The chicken is drenched in spicy sauce, or is fried in batter or perhaps served with a sweet soy sauce and a beer swishes it down nicely but, I never drink before work.

I’d felt the warnings on the brief walk to the restaurant but it hadn’t clicked and I was thinking they’d disappear but they actually intensified. I began to perspire. There was the panic too, because you know that when in the grip of needing to defecate you will do it anywhere; in your pants, squatting behind a car in public and even bent over in your bedroom holding your backside in a plastic shopping bag. This is almost my fourth year in Korea and I’ve never had to crap in any other toilet than my own unless in a hotel or the comfort of someone’s home. I’ve never had to take my chances on the street where, unless owned by nice restaurants or western style eateries, you can guarantee toilets are going to be grim.

About to explode!

There have only been a two occasions in my life when the fuse has been so short that I’ve only had seconds to find a toilet. Once was in Osnabruck, Germany, after a military exercise when all the toilets in my barrack block were occupied. I had to pooh in a carrier bag in my bedroom and that was illuminating as you never realise how  hot and heavy a pooh can be until you hold one in a bag.  The next occasion was some 20 years later, again in Germany, in a small town close to Bonn. That was out of the blue; one moment I was fine walking through a quaint little village with a small stream running through the center of it, next moment I had seconds to find a toilet. My third ordeal had just started!

‘I’ve got to use the loo!’ I announced and immediately made for the back of the restaurant. We should have chosen a more up-market location as the toilet was shared by several establishments and not easily reached. I found it with thirty seconds to spare and of course, not only was it a squat down job but there was no toilet paper. But I’m good, ex-military good and before I’d even got to the door and discovered conditions, I’d covered my options. My jeans and shoes were off within seconds and having already spotted the hose in the small garden that lay close by; I turned it on an dragged it into the toilet wedging the gushing end down the drain just inside the toilet door. Then, I closed the door, took off my boxers and a second later, in one expulsion, my late breakfast was reincarnated. As I was hosing my arse and swishing the bean soup into the sewers of Daegu, I suddenly realised what had caused my upset – my badly timed, watery breakfast! Drying my arse on one of the large hankies I use in hot weather, I quickly got dressed, repositioned the hose and washed my hands. Although the toilet was was grotty the soap was actually quite nice. I hadn’t even got my feet wet and neither had I crapped on my heels which is always a danger on a squat loo and is why I take my pants off! And by the time I got back to my table, a lovely plate of spicy chicken awaited.

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Sausages and Shit – Comparissons in Smut humour

Posted in bathhouse Ballads, Comparative, No Pumpkin Category, podcasts, Westerners by 노강호 on April 30, 2010

podcast 15

Around a year ago, I wrote several mini plays for my younger students with the intention of encouraging stress and intonation and injecting some emotion into what was often flat and dull dialogue. Out of this came an idea to write something using those words which Koreans always mispronounce. I  trialed I’m Pine’ in a small class and quite scared the kids as I was the only one laughing, indeed I was hysterical and all red-faced and coughing. Meanwhile, the kids looked on without the slightest clue what I was laughing at. I abandoned the project when I realised that fnarr fnarr, innuendo and smut, work as effectively on Koreans as sarcasm. However, if you pronounce sarcasm more like ‘sharcasm’ or ‘sharcashi’ it will elicit a response as this has something to do with oral sex. If you use this word on Kindergarten kids you’ll need to explain it more graphically, perhaps by way of eating a banana or sausage.

I mean! Its a cock! Isnt it?

Have you noticed how you can have a roomful of Korean kids eating bananas or sausages and no one ever makes a joke or gesture about sucking a cock? In a class of British kids there will always be one who makes the connection public. My sister and I can never eat phallic food  without making jokes or obscene gestures and many a time one of us has deep throated a banana after using our teeth to quickly groove it a suitable helmet and meatus.  A banana might not strike one as a suitable replica of a cock, but one advantage is you can embellish it with far greater success than for example a sausage, which like cosmetic surgery, often  results in a simply ghastly mutilation. Bock-wurst sausages, the most realistic of phallic foods are particularly amusing  as like truly big cocks, no matter how hard you slurp, they remain bendy. Bratwurst too, can slip in and out of the throat provided not too hot or over grilled, when the skin splits and they can scratch your throat.  Westerners are much more apt to defile items resembling a cock in terms of texture or shape and pepperonis, lychees, strawberries, bananas, the entire gamut of sausages, marrows, courgettes, cucumbers,  etc, etc, are all the butt of our crude humour.

All the fun of a saveloy! (1982)

The herculean efforts required to suck away a stick of seaside rock provide an extension to, and memory of, holiday joys

Can we westerners eat a banana or saveloy in public without a fleeting association of it being a cock? Is it possible  for us to eat a banana without some awareness that we mustn’t lavish our lips too long on the tip or caress it fleetingly with a tongue.   We must certainly never suck it like a lolly, that’s a cardinal sin. And what about rock, the great British seaside tradition? Rock, and things like barley sticks can all be vigorously sucked without ever offending the sensibilities as can corn on the cob, the eating of which is never passive and certainly reminiscent of nuzzling along the girth of a bloated shaft.

Infinitely more gratifying, are the girth and grease of a sausage

In commercials, it is permissible to suggest oral gratification provided the object being ‘sucked,’ or more usually poked between pouted lips (of a sexy woman), is something lifeless and hence lollies and cream eggs are often subject to titillation. For the British juvenile commercial, fellatio is epitomised by the Cadbury’s chocolate flake  in which the references are all cock but the moment the tongue probes  that  helmet-less stump the thing either melts or flakes apart. There is an unspoken rule that sucking or licking something in public or  alluding to  the oral stimulation of a penis is acceptable provided the phallus in play is hard, unyielding, cold, fragile, brittle, and basically void of any life.  Once all the qualities of life are removed,  all potential threats nullified and nicified, you can lick it and suck it as much as you like. This is why it is okay to suck a lolly, the rigidity and cold reminiscent of a cock with rigor rather than one with vigour, but not a banana.  This is the reason you can never suck on a saveloy or nuzzle up the shaft of a succulent sausage, holding it in daintily between your fingers and it is why, in your favourite bistro, you never dip the head of your Cumberland  in the creamy mashed potato, lube it up with as smidgen of thick gravy,  and commence to lick it like a lolly.

All the characteristics of a beefy cock

A Walnut Whip

Such associations are lost on Koreans  and to me at least, with my filthy western mind, it seems as though such humour should be universal, I mean, a sausage, especially a long bendy one, it’s a cock, isn’t it? Six inches plus of warm meat, firm but not unyielding, broad enough to gnaw  like a sweetcorn, slightly oily and let’s not forget, juicy. They even have a skin! How could such characteristics not remind you of a cock? But give a Korean a turd, especially one whirled like an ice cream, and they’ll be highly amused. Seriously, one of the first words I learned  to recognise was ‘ddong,’ (똥). In those first few weeks  in Korea, I was quite intrigued by the appeal that many kids had for drawing ‘ice cream’ whirls on desks and walls. Why ice-cream, I thought? Are they hungry? There was a Baskin Robbins opposite my school but their ice-cream wasn’t whirled. And the whirls, expertly drawn, were literally everywhere: on desks on the wall and  even in notebooks.

Naturally, such visualizations are culturally informed. I shit quite differently back in the UK where my turds, and those left loitering in toilet bowls which I’ve had the misfortune to see, are rarely whirled; a whirled turd probably symptomatic of a bad stomach. No! Western poohs are more like yule  tide logs, bulky, loaded, substantive and sticky. If you’ve lived in Korea for any amount of time, and your diet is predominantly Korean food, you may have noticed how long a toilet roll lasts. I mean, two wadges are ample to clean your arse because you shit so fast  any residue left loitering  in your dirt track is dragged out by suction. If I had to calculate the time it takes to sit down, shit, and mop up, then on an average basis the process is far quicker on a Korean diet. Living in Korea actually adds time to your life because the moment you sit down, ‘hwang,’ and it’s out. Two little dabs with toilet paper, wash yours hands  and you’re done! You have to wash your hands if your from the UK as research by a British University discovered that 15-53% of British people  have  traces of shit on their hands.  Apparently, the further north you travel the shitier the hands. Since being made aware of this, as an act of both sanitation and disassociation,  I now use anti-bacterial hand-wash after every dump.

A national icon. Mr Whippy

A National icon. Mr Whippy!

Mr Pooh

Poohing Korean Style can take place in less than a minute. Korean faecal flurry can’t wait to get out, indeed your body blasts it into the loo in one atomic fart. But the moment you hit western food, the pastries, bread, burgers, potato, pizzas, and copious amounts of meat,  and every fibre of  your lower intestine is fighting to keep that clotted log contained in your gut and it’s so gargantuan in girth and solid in consistency that expelling it, like birthing, takes not just considerable will power but  a  highly rubberous ring piece. In its wake, a trail of muck, always sticky, pasty and clingy and which can only be removed by massaging it around your butt, sort of rubbing it off,  with half a roll of paper.  No wonder we need extra ply shit paper, and little lotioned wipes to prod our butts because an English diet, and this is the worst part, involves having to  manually dredge yourself. With all that poking,  and a paper draped digit, even double ply,  is never a reliable defense,  I’m not surprised many Brits have shit on their hands.  And I wonder how much psychological damage is done having to finger around the flesh of that dirty clam on a daily basis. How much of our national psyche is  shaped by those ‘turdy’ experiences. No  wonder we don’t like to touch each other and seldom shake hands, no wonder we are so unfriendly, no wonder pooh is taboo! Fingering shit first thing in the morning is a vile and shameful way to start the day and knowing that everyone else has been digging the dirt is hardly conducive to community spirit!

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