THE BATH HOUSE…
(this one does not get a related picture, I randomly chose this picture of Hite beer pitchers instead)
This is probably the bravest thing I’ve done so far…. and definitely nothing that I regret.
A bath house is where you go and pretty much bathe, but you are naked in front of a large room of people. I went with two girls from the Camp Korea, which was such a huge deal since you know I didn’t even use to like getting into a bathing suit.
When we arrive at the bath house, the men and women separate into two different elevators. On the 3rd floor you take off your shoes and then get a locker for your clothes inside the changing room. Once in there, you have to completely strip down! So I sum up the nerve and get it over with, even though I thought I was going to cry.
My bath house gang and I are now just standing around together, completely naked, and I can’t stop giggling and being awkward out of nervousness. We get into the bath room and there are about 60 naked Korean women and children there. Needless to say, the tall Canadian, South African and Brit really stuck out. We slipped into a hot tub and tried not to look at each other while conversing.
Luckily, it only takes about 10 minutes before you forget that you are naked. It was so liberating! Everyone was just walking around talking to each other like nothing was different. Five adorable Korean girls came up to us and said “friends” and pointed to themselves and then to us. We then sat and giggled with them since we didn’t know enough Hangul to make a conversation, nor did they speak English. They were so curious about what we looked like. One girl asked why I had different skin colour to hers, so I said “indo?” and she smiled and rubbed my arm. There was not one pool or sauna that we went into where they did not come to sit and chat and stare. Adorable.
Now the scrub.
I essentially paid a woman $17 to bathe me, a new aspect to my growing laziness. I laid like a beached whales as this woman scrubbed my skinny little body clean for 20 minutes. You should have seen my skin! Amazing.
What was awkward was that she uses these gloves to scrub you (soooo not sterilized) but to protect your nipples and netherland from the glove, she covers them with her HAND. I thought you had to pay extra for that sort of thing. (Ha! Bad joke… read about the Happy Ending Massage in my Cambodian entries).
So after being completely molested by an elderly Korean woman, I bow and leave with the glowing skin of a newborn, heading back to the sauna and then finally to the changing room.
OH! I almost forgot. When she was scrubbing the bottom of my foot I could not help but be ticklish and laugh. So to stop me from squirming she puts my foot in-between her legs! I guess that made the molestation mutual. (The scrubber is completely nude aside from her underwear. To finish off the scrub, you are covered in hot towels and then smacked hard. I mean real whacks with a flat palm. After six good spanks I said “Kamsa Hamnida” (or however it is that you spell “thank you” in Korean) and left, happy I had finally tried the Korean bath house.