Yes, it’s true: One of the strangest things for a Westerner to see upon arrival in Korea is that TP is no longer relegated to bathroom functions — it’s a multipurpose paper that serves in place of Kleenex, paper towels and even napkins.
I can’t tell you how weird it was for me the first time I sat down for lunch with my co-teachers and someone plunked a roll down in the middle of the table.
And have you ever tried drying your hands with two-ply tissue paper? It’s not super effective. But it sure is efficient. Why use myriad different paper products when all your cleaning needs can really be served with one? Oh, those clever Koreans.
I find it strange that while there is toilet paper all over the lunch room and restaurant dining areas, there is rarely any in the public bathrooms. Which is not cool when you consider most public bathrooms have these:
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