July 08, 2013

Mr. Toilet and the House of Poo Poo

In Beijing, I once visited a poop themed restaurant. The seats were life-sized toilets, and the covers could be lifted up to see if a special brown souvenir had been left behind. Instead of tissues, there was a toilet paper dispenser. The food itself was not feces flavoured, although it was still crappy. It was served in miniature toilets. An artificial turd was affixed to the bottom of each cup, emerging into view only after the drinker had almost finished their beverage.

The Koreans and the Chinese seem to share this love of turds, as the city of Suwon boasts a toilet museum as one of its top three tourist attractions. I have also seen several eateries around Korea selling dung shaped desserts.

The toilet museum is dedicated to a former mayor of Suwon who was reported to have been born in an outhouse. Sim Jae-duck, aka Mr. Toilet, had encouraged the construction of many public toilets in the city. He also helped established the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to promote the worthy cause of global sanitation.

I dropped by the manure museum near closing time, so I could only experience the well fertilized grounds. I did not have time to enter the house that Mr. Toilet built, missing out on a chance to see the winning entries of the first annual Golden Poop Painting Contest. This year's theme was 'Humorous Poop'.

The outdoor sculptures are a sight to behold, with the ecstasies and agonies of defecating etched into each man, woman, and child's face for all eternity. One exhibit was about the legendary ddong dwaeji of Jeju, a pig that fattens itself on man made brown gold before being eaten themselves. The black pigs are known for having extra flavour.