Korea's motto is "the land of morning calm".
I have a better one- the land of inefficiency. If you want something done and you want it done inefficiently, this is the place to come.
Our apartment in Daegu is a prime example of inefficiency run rapid. Buildings are erected very quickly with little to no regard given to safety or function. In our apartment our heating bill was outrageous because we couldn't close the window. Why? I'll tell you why. The wiring, cables and gas pipes all came in through the window. The drainage system for the air conditioner went out the window.
Inefficiency #2: Toilet Plunger
I didn't even think to include toilets on my list. Most of the ones over here can't handle more than one square of 2-ply, much less anything that comes out of your body. So, plungers are an extra vital necessity. Yes, I'm aware that's redundant. That's how necessary they are.
The first plunger I purchased over here was utterly useless. I don't even think it could be re-commissioned as a doorstop. When you applied any amount of pressure on the plunger, the rubber part would flip itself inside out. Useless, right?
Inefficiency #3: Spatula
I used a spatula to flip a pancake and it melted. Enough said.
Inefficiency #4: The Mini-broom
Mine literally only comes up to my knee. Some are shorter than that.
It's been explained that these brooms came about because a family's living quarters used to be so small that they basically only needed something slightly bigger than a duster to clean with. That was then. This is now. Korea, welcome to 2014.
I've only seen one originally full-sized broom in this country and for several months I was the proud owner. Unfortunately, we couldn't bring it on the bus when we moved. I haven't seen one since.
I say "originally" because I once saw a man who modified his mini-broom by attaching some type of piping to the handle to make it longer. That man should be president. He can break the bonds of mini-broomdom.
My school has two full sized mops and about eight mini-brooms for us to clean the school with. It's ridiculous. I'm considering gifting the school a set of full-sized brooms when I go home. Leave a legacy and all that.
Inefficiency #5: Washing Machine Draining System
My washing machine requires it's own room because when it finishes the cycle it empties it's bladder on to the floor. The water goes down a drain in the center of the room. Nothing else can go in the room or it will also get soaked. Similarly, the window in the room must stay open or the floor won't dry, as their is no ventilation fan. Even when it is snowing outside.
Inefficiency #6: The Fresh Air Mindset
We can run the heat in the winter or the AC in the summer but as soon as it's turned on we must open the door. We need to let fresh air into the building when they're running. So basically, I'm heating/cooling the sidewalk.
Inefficiency #7: Eraserless pencils
This is a personal pet peeve for me as I've been duped by these things more times than I can count. I think it's a money making scheme. Why sell you a pencil with an eraser when I can sell you a pencil and then an eraser? Most pencils don't have erasers, some just have wooden ends and you can obviously tell the eraser is missing. Some, however, are topped with these things (metal, possibly) that are painted to look like erasers but have no actual erasing capability. Instead, they grate against your paper and make the nails on the chalkboard sound.