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So before we go into the wonderfulness of personal and portable hand soap, we should give some background info on toilet life in Korea. Don’t worry, this isn’t a poopy poopy McPooperson story…or is it!?? DA DA DAAAAA. But seriously, it isn’t.

Ok, so the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that usually don’t have private toilets are located in buildings with lots of businesses in one building. So you’ll have a restaurant next to a hair salon next to a cellphone shop next to another restaurant next to another restaurant. Above that on the second floor, you’ll have more restaurants. Above that, on the third floor, you’ll have more restaurants, maybe a dental clinic, maybe a hagwon (after school program), etc. You can have a building with 8 floors and something like 20 businesses in them. Anyhow, in the hallways for the stairs, there might be a public restroom or two. These are the ones we’re talking about.

Anyhow, they’re totally freaky a lot of the time, with doors that barely close, flickering lights, shoddy fans, and boogie monsters. They’re scary and cold (in the winter) and stinky scalding hot (in the summer) and we don’t like them! It doesn’t matter if you’re in Seoul or Bucheon; public poopers we’ve been to have looked really suspicious. They never have toilet paper, and never have soap, and the water faucet only has freezing cold water.

So now that we’ve explained these charming public bathrooms, you might say, “hey, why go there? Just hold it or find a nicer one.” Yes, well, after several beers/soju whatevers, you don’t give a crap where you crap. Also, the nice washrooms are usually locked and you need the glorious golden key from the restaurant to get inside. We’re considering going into the washroom key copying business. HAHA, I KID I KID! *suspicious shifty eyes*

So, now maybe you can get a sense of why something like these Soap Flakes are good to bring with you. They make the bathrooms seem less scary! To be honest, we don’t know anyone who uses them or packs them in their bags (though most people who bring toilet paper with them). In fact, we have a special name for the TP you bring with you. See, if you want to go to another country, you need your passport. And so we call these papers our pooping passports. It makes it less embarrassing when we’re in public and need to talk about them. Instead of saying “HAY DO YOU HAVE TOLIET PAPERS TO WIPE YOUR POOEY BUTT WITH?” we can say “hey, don’t forget your passport.” Great idea us! But I think now you all know our secret…damn.

Anyhoo, these pretty petal soaps come in a pretty container and we imagine it would be great for anyone traveling around a lot and not staying at fancy soap-giving hotels. Also, when Martina was little, her friend Miki brought her a similar thing from Japan but they were wafer thin sheets of soap that came out of a flat paper container. It looked exactly like those blotting papers you use to wipe the oil off your face. Guys? You know what we mean? Right? Hey. HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING!!??

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  1. lol – I’m feeling stupid. I somehow got a small tube of Hello Kitty soap flakes – thought they were for the tub. Sprinkled a few in my daughter’s bath just now and they floated around slowly dissolving. Not very exciting. So I googled and found this video. Oops!

  2. Definitely was confused when one of my students gave this to me to try. She practically had to take me to the restroom to prove to me that it was soap. I actually think they’re new in Korea because in the past couple months ALL the girls suddenly have little containers of flower soap. And trust me, it’s the same in Daegu – never go to the toilet without your passport and never forget your bottle of hand sanitizer. *shudder at Korean public toilets*

  3. ~hahahaha, one of my friend accidentally eat this stuff.. She forgot to read the label..

  4. ~hahahaha, one of my friend accidentally eat this stuff.. She forgot to read the label..

  5. …This is for the bath…….like… a decoration soap

  6. Stroke soap haha! I’m deathly afraid of those. If I go out I always look for a Hyundai or Lotte Department store so I can use their bathroom instead har har har. 

  7. Lol! I had the same horror bathroom experience when I was in Korea and it was in a Noraebang. It was also one of those unisex bathrooms so the whole time I was using it I was afraid a man was going to walk in. Luckily no men came and no drunk people either :)!

    p.s. I also have soap flakes! Execpt they’re from the U.S.A and they’re not portable

  8. do you play kai bai bo mook chi pa?

  9. I’ve seen that here in the U.S. but it was used for baths. But soap is soap so it probably wouldnt matter lol!

  10. o_O we have stuff like that here in America, but it’s pretty much just pretty, floaty fragrance to add to your bath or something. at least, it *looks* the same…

  11. ooo~~ I remember that soap~~ they had it in Iran~~ Cutest type of soap ever…well, not really, there were soaps that came in little animal shapes…

  12. You guys are so funny :) i want to go to Korea someday :)

  13. AWWW that was so cute she licked it!!!!!

  14. YOU LICK THE SOAP!!! HAAAAZAH!!!!!!!!

  15. Hey Martina and Simon,
    please can you tell me where you got your bathroom-toothbrush-case-thing from? :D
    Or what do you call it, so that I can search on my own? I tried already but failed..
    Great video by the way ! (as always)
    Love you two! :D
    Anyways, I would be glad about an answer!
    Oh and where did you got your kitchen cupboard stickers?
    I totally LOVE your apartment! :)
    Best wishes from Germany!
    Laura

  16. storoking soap…. lol that’s funny haha… we do have the “stroke soaps” in our school… but people rarely use it unless they forgot to bring their portable liquid soap to school…. it looks unsanitary after someone else used it… and just like other people think, it looks gross lol…. we even have someone using a cutter knife to steal the soap and use it personally at their houses (at least in my school yea… this has been a big problem for us… )  and by the way, koreans do clean their hands after takin shi**s lol… they’re humans too and they wanna be clean….

  17. I think it’s “foamy” not “foamsy” martina. #stopit  Love the site you guys!!!! If I ever happen to see you two on the street I will shout”YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

  18. those paper soaps are so neat!  im from hawaii but my aunty sent me a small pack from japan.  sounds like they were the same as martina had, and mine were apple scented, yumm!  but that was the first time ive seen something like that and i want more!

  19. You definitely want to watch your soap consumption — too much can lead to some wicked runs, and I don’t mean the soulful singing kind!  Well, it might be a singing of sorts, but probably the watery kind of singing, know what I mean? You’ll probably feel pretty soulful though, but the sweaty sobbing kind, not the uplifted spirit kind.  Not ideal.

  20. hahaha. I remember these!!! My and my friends went gaga over these in the 4th grade. :P MARTINA AND SIMON ARE AWESOME! ahahah.

  21. hahaha Martina trying the soap flake at the end made me soooo laugh XD remembering how she fought not to do this xD anyways – cool thing, that soap flakes (: and looks extremely cute (:

  22. My brain doesn’t get it- you mentioned ‘we’re giving the green one away…’ but I don’t see any info regarding the giveaway… Oh well… I’ll just take it as I didn’t hear anything…

    Your articles make me want to go to Korea. XD ‘Stroke soap.’ lol!

  23. yeh thumps up Martina !!thanks Simon !! the whole video i was like come on Martina lick the soap!! good girl!! lol.. love you guys <3 now you got one hot Arabian fan girl  "and that's me " xD

  24. Yeah, there’s a whole lot of them in Japan – different types, sizes, shapes and colors, and for some reason they sell it in stationery shops rather than drugstores! Add to it that 99% of Japanese public toilets are clean and well equipped regardless of being some particular restaurant’s responsibility or not (there’s personnel hired by the building owner to take care of the hallway ones), and you wonder… where to use them?! Well… I used mine at work, when I did part-time in a relatively small company that cared enough for toilet paper, but not for soap… also, some people apparently buy it just because it’s cute and either give it away as presents, or use at their own home.

  25. They actually have this stuff in the US too…thought they market it as “confetti bubble bath.”

  26. so funny!! Simon is being like a kid !! XD

  27. I went to china and i bought these; trouble is, you need quite a lot or else it just feels like water :/

  28. Is simon’s finger nail still orange? I can’t tell….

  29. i could definatly use that a clean freak like me lol

  30. I just want to say Martina’s new pink hair is really pretty!

    there are like paper soap too, one looks like oil blotting paper in a container that looks like oil blotting paper container
    I think those are more convenient to carry cause its thin and takes like no space at all in your purse

  31. I bought some that were star shaped with glitter at Michaels in the US.

  32. I have seen these for sale in Canada at Michaels, the arts and crafts chain.

  33. I have one of those. It has several designs, flowers, hearts, stars, circles, etc. I live in Mexico and bought it here in Mexico. People look at me weird every time I use my soaps. In many places there is no toilet paper or soap…. even in restaurants (¬¬) Many times I have seen my friends eat with unwashed hands but I don’t like it so I take my portable hand soap everywhere.

    • Yes! In Mexico, toilet paper and soap are rare in any public place. I always have hand sanitizer with me. As for the toilet paper, you’re only lucky if they have that one large roll next to the sinks, so you can get however much you think you’ll need, and you take that with you to the stall. Especially in Soriana (primary grocery/supermarket in Mexico). I think the scary alley can apply to Mexico, too, but only to SOME restaurants that have their restroom outside of their building. I see the alley thing more in shopping centers or subway stations in Mexico. However, everyone’s always in and out of them, so it’s not all that bad (:

  34. It’d be interesting if you guys did some kind of tour video thing for the hallway bathrooms one day. Or maybe a horror movie? haha

  35. Curious what the Korean solution to those stroke soaps is. I always carry hand sanitizer with me.

  36. I raised my hands up while watching this. Go Martina!!                     oo yeah she did it XD

    My father is doctor so there are so many wierd thing that’ll come by promotion. there were many of these soap sheets but not flakes XD

  37. I want to see the green one!

  38. Those bits of soap flakes would be a lot more sanitary than using the stroke soap. Imagine the amount of bacteria there is on that bar of soap. *shivers*

  39. I was laughing my ass off… stroke soap hahaha I miss those stuff tho

  40. Ah man the Korean Public bathrooms. Legit had one that was basically all the horrors you mentioned. THEN while I was holding the bathroom doors shut for my two friends (all of us female), a man came in…apologized and left….and came back two seconds later and said he couldn’t wait…and used the urinal in front of me >.>….You guys experience the boy+girl washroom drama? 

    • Ha!  No, we never experienced anything like that.  The worst we experienced is really impatient people banging on the door when you’re handling your business.  And when drunk people bang and mumble at your door, while you’re in a scary washroom, it kinda feels like a zombie attack :(

      • Ooh that DOES sound scary. At least they can’t puke on you right?

        The most awkward moment I noticed once was when I was in a rural area waiting in line to use the washroom. An ajumma butted in line and when we told her someone was already in the stall, she swung open the door (which had no lock). glanced in….said “oh its YOU” *cue ajumma cackling*, and then closed it and carried on >.>….so glad I wasn’t the one in the stall.

  41. When i was in korea, my friend nd i would get different colors than trade the soaps :) u get wht i mean?

  42. They have the petal-y flower soap here in Canada, too! Never seen this stroke soap stuff though XD

  43. I was hoping you wouldn’t but then you diiiiiid, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. D: fkejf,maxzjv

  44. We use those in America. Usually you’ll find them in specialty beauty stores or Walmart. Great stuff. 

  45. Omg it looks like Pikachu’s face is on the container! Soooo cute!!!

  46. those are so neat. :D

  47. omigosh. i have a korean friend who brings those to school xD

  48. hahah! I’ve seen those little flake soaps, heck we even have some and stroke-soap, thats….. interestingly disturbing. Pics maybe?

  49. martina, i love that you secretly tasted the soap!! hilarious!!

    simon, loved your aladdin reference!!

  50. Is hand sanitiser gel/ disinfectant *not* available in Korea?
    In my mind, that’d be easier to use [and carry] than little soap pellets :)

  51. http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/soap-leaves.html  There’s all kinds of soap leaves/flakes that you can find…this is just one link that you can check out that I found through a google/alibaba search.

  52. I was expecting a “that’s what she said” joke for the stoke soap-but then i guess i actually would have been inappropriate…..

  53. it’s actually easy to find those in Brazil too

  54. that’s my first time saw that thing!!!~ its…magic!!~
    i love soap!!!~

  55. Lick the soap Martina! Lick it!

  56. Ohhh I had the paper soaps before. But I like the idea of this flake soap better. :)

  57. The ‘stroke-soap’ comes originally from France. It’s an early type of soapdispenser for public bathrooms. Nowadays the holdes and soaps are usually sold across Europe under the brand “Savon de Marseille” (soap from Marseille).

  58. I got plenty of that. Philippines got one of those. I bet a lot of Asian countries. Almost all of your WTF can also be bought here in the Philippines. Or rather in Asian countries.

  59. Martina licked the soap!!!! 
    yay!!!!^^

    I was waiting for her to do it!!
    shazam!!!… 0_0

  60. Haha, this is funny, because I’ve seen both the flake soap and the stroke soap here in Belgium! (^_^) It’s not frequent, but it does exist! Now I know that they also use it on the other side of the world!

  61. It was interesting to learn about toilet culture in Korea :) Thanks as always for your great vid and can’t wait for the new format with k-drama hopefully included *wink wink* :P

  62. it is also available here in the philippines :)
    it comes in thin sheets i hope to see cutesy stuff of taht too ^^,
    and its cheap XD

  63. I think the most important thing to take away from here is that peer pressure works.  LOL

  64. I have seen the “stroke soap” somewhere – I want to say at the observatory in Busan. I… *think* I used it, but I’m not sure. I was often relying on one of our many hand sanitizers after bathroom breaks. xD;;

    We made sure to bring our own TP because of what we’d read before our trip, so we were prepared! :D Although, I was kind of surprised that the Busan train station, of all places, was one that lacked TP. I just automatically assume that super-busy places would be prepared.

    The only “weird” bathroom I saw/went into was in the bath house in Busan. I only say it was “weird” because of the stalls: one had a door while the other didn’t, same applied with TP. It was kind of awkward to be in there with strangers who used the open-door stall. >_>

    No wait! I lied. The other “weird” bathroom was in my cousin’s restaurant. The one and only stall was like… built into a slope, so I’m pretty sure EVERYONE who is tall enough (and I’m 5’4″) hits their head before getting into it. Plus it was built for the slim, so I hope no one is claustrophobic when they go in. xD Otherwise, it was fairly normal and had soap AND TP. :D

  65. WARNING: DO NOT EAT/DRINK WHILE WATCHING SIMONANDMARTINA BECAUSE YOU WILL CHOKE~
    lol “stroke soap”
    <3 you guys are freaking awesome.

  66. lol i found that kind of soap in Malaysia too. well, maybe it’s imported from China, Korea, or Japan (not sure cos i dont think i checked it) it’s packaged with baby bottle whereas inside is the yellow flower soap. i bought it cos it looks unique xD but i dont rlly use it cos i dont like its smell.  

  67. Wonder why they don’t have liquid pump soap or foaming pump soap like places in America?

  68. oh my, stoke soap….that just sounds so bad :D
    They told us to pack toilet paper when I was in latin america too.   Def spoiled by the US/Canada tendency to stock/clean bathrooms…although I’ve found some pretty sketchy gas station bathrooms in my US travels

  69. I sorta raised my hand when Simon asked for a show of hands for Martina to lick the soap~ OTL
    Wonderful video as always~

  70. lol now im afraid im goona have to stroke soap if i wanna wash my hands in korea lol but iv used the flower soap before in canada its fun but it stains the bathroom if you leave it and it gets wet.

  71. hahaha you guys are so silly, i love it :)

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