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Asian way of showering

Posted by Linda 
Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 12:15AM
We currently have a 9yr old Korean homestay boy with us. We've not had much to do with this culture, having had mainly Germans before, and also with them being older.

Anyway, we noticed that after Howard (his NZ name) had a shower the bathroom was really wet, with water from the corner shower, almost reaching the hallway carpet. The bathmat would be bone dry, so he's obviously not using that. And every towel in the bathroom would be saturated, to the point that they are dripping on the towel rail. We spoke to him about it, and we thought the problem had been solved. Except that we discovered, he wasn't actually having showers, and after a few days we were smelling it. sad smiley

Spoke to him again, and he got all embarrassed. So I spoke to the teacher at the Language School where he it attending (thank goodness they're only closed for the Stats). Anyway she told me it not talked about in Korean culture. I asked for her to have a chat to him, and said it wasn't acceptable in our house.

My question is , can anybody explain how Koreans actually have a shower?? Our shower has a pullout nozzle thing, which I think he is pulling out and using standing in the middle of the bathroom, and not inside the shower cubicle. Then using the towels in the bathroom to mop up all the water.

We have a bath too, but he informs me that only babies have baths.

Thank goodness we have our own en-suite, so its only the kids using the main bathroom.


Re: Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 12:53AM
Oh dear...... that's a smelly problem isn't it and highlights the sheer vastness of cultural differences and therefore, difficulties of anyone, other than those used to our ways.... fitting in.
When in Rome...... as the saying goes but if you can't even talk about it what do you do. This is of no help to you at all ~ I know but I can sense your desperation. ?:-(
Re: Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 01:26AM
Dear Linda,
Just wrote you a longish didn't post, so goodness knows where it is. This will have to be brief as I need to go out, but I'm anxious to tell you of our experience to help out.
Basically I explained what we did, with 14 yrs experience of having Asian students.
Hub said,"come on Tom, I'm going to show you how we shower in N Z. After all, you are here to experience the Kiwi way. " He turned the shower on, instructed Tom to leave his unduies on and left the bathroom door open, for obvious reasons. "Get in, close the door, wash yourself,step out onto the mat. If there's any water on the floor, over there is a mop, " pointing to the squeegie. It worked a treat and was all done in a pleasant way.
In Haste
Re: Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 01:34AM
In Thailand and it sounds like Korea you stand int he middle of the bathroom with either a shower head or a plastic bowl, wet yourself completely from head to toe then lather with soap and then using either the shower head (if you have one, we never had one where i lived) Or your bowl (we had a 24 gallon plastic drum full of water situated under the tap.) then dry and you are finished. The era and place I lived in thailand meant I also had to wear a Patoong (a wrap around dress) whilst showering and was through it!!!
so the culture shock i felt must be awfully hard for some of these kids here especially at such a young age.
Kindest Regards
Re: Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 07:31AM
Yes, but they still have to learn to live as we do. It is not acceptable to most of us to have a bathroom swimming in water. In fact........they are lucky to have water in a lot of places.
Re: Asian way of showering
December 30, 2004 10:51AM
Lynne I completely completely agree, as i had to learn when i lived in thailand to be Thai.
I Just wanted people to understand just how different it is and how hard it can be to make those initial changes when you are completely immersed in a New Foreign culture.

i'm sure in my first few months i pissed a few people off. I lived in a predomiantly Muslim area and in my first month i touched a boy on the waist whilst trying to explain something about clothes and was labeled for many months a hussy!

Kindest Regards
Re: Asian way of showering
December 31, 2004 03:34AM
We host Japenese Students and I am amazed that the Language School told you that. Before students come to NZ they are all told how we shower as its totally different to what we do. The Language school teacher should tell all students how to use the shower and it is not acceptable for her to say it is not talked about because of their culture.

We always explain to our students how to shower but they seem to know, also I show them how to get into bed (otherwise they sleep on top ) and the next morning always get them to help me make their bed so they know what to do.

I suggest you do what Lynne said and actually demonstrate as she explained. I might add they Koreans can be very difficult to host and we would never host this culture. We know many people who have hosted them in the past and said it was extremely difficult. They seem to have a mind of their own and treat you like a servant.

Our daughter was an Air Hostess for many years and she can tell you a tale or two about them (nothing pleasant I might add)

Best of luck.
Re: Asian way of showering
December 31, 2004 05:45AM

Funny that you should say about the Korean culture being "difficult" I don't want to appear racist, or rude, but we've had several different cultures. This has been the hardest in EVERY aspect. We never applied to this particular school, and just received a phone call out of the blue. I asked how they got our phone number, and all they'd tell me was "a friend". Both my husband and I have agreed, that we won't be dealing with this particular language school again.

Spoke to my brother-in-law's sister on Xmas Day, and she also can't say a good word about the Koreans.

Last year we had the most amazing German girl, who regularly emails and just today we got a Xmas parcel from her, for the kids. Got another German girl after her, and she was pleasant enough, but didn't last long. At 16yrs old she got frustrated by the rules we had to impose, which were part of the Academy's contract. Only basic stuff, like letting us know she was, and going to a "friend's party" was not acceptable, when she couldn't tell us this friend's name, address or phone number. Also she wanted to stay the night at this friends place, which again is not allowed in their contract.

With this Korean boy we have no contract, and although I'm not usually one for red-tape, it just makes everything easier when everything is in black and white, and no mis-understandings can occur.

I guess you're opening your house to a stranger, and sometimes you'll get a good one, and other times a not so good one.

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