I've long bitched and moaned about the inefficiencies of Korean front-loader washing machines. The pyojun (normal) cycle generally takes around 90 minutes to two hours. (My own machine takes two hours. My machine back in Hayang took 90-100 minutes.) For a couple months in my new place here in Goyang City, I've chafed at how much of a drag it is to have to dump in the wash and wait two hours before it's done.
A second look at the washer's function-select dial shows the kwae-sok (쾌속) cycle, i.e., the super-fast cycle. In fact, on my machine, it's labeled as "쾌속30," which means the cycle takes only thirty minutes.
Like an American machine.
I'm immeasurably happier now. I don't really give a crap if the washing isn't as thorough; I don't normally stink up my clothes that much, anyway, unless I've taken a 30,000-step walk—and that hasn't happened since, oh, January. So a thirty-minute cycle works fine for me, and now that I've used the kwae-sok function two or three times, I've seen and smelled no noticeable difference in laundering quality.
Back when I had thought I would be doomed to two-hour washes, I had been at pains to get my laundry into the machine by 9:30PM at the latest so that the cycle would end before midnight and not disturb the neighbors.* Now, I can start my laundry at 11:25PM and be done before midnight. Just having that extra wiggle room is cause for joy.
It's a shame that it took me nearly two months to look more closely at that function dial to see what other settings were available, but hey—better late than never.
*My neighbors don't pay me the same consideration: through the walls, I've heard the musical jingle-bells, signaling the end of a cycle, after 1AM on many a night.