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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Scrub scrub!

I woke up this morning early afternoon to a broken water heater!  Booo.  I think the rain may have caused the pilot light to burn out.  :( After calling the company to come fix it and finding out no one works on Sundays, I was presented with ONE option if I wanted to take a warm shower! ... The infamous JIM JIL BANG (public bath house).  Now, I haven't been to one in a long while, because while I love the idea of lounging in baths, getting massages, and feeling cleaner than usual, the awkwardness of being THE naked foreigner, with hundreds of curious Korean eyes watching your every move and judging every curve of your body seems to keep me from walking through the doors.  Today was different though, I had to go! 

So, I spent 3 hours at Haesoopia, a 6 story public bath house near my apartment, containing a gym, restaurant, sauna, bath floor for women and another for men, a nail salon, massage chairs, and a whole floor dedicated to yoga!  I spent about an hour lounging naked in the herbal pools while I waited my turn for an $18, hour long, "cucumber massage." I figured it had to be relaxing if cucumber and massage were in it's title. My turn finally came, and I jumped up on the massage table and was greeted by a 40-something year old Korean woman wearing only her bra and undies... which was more than I could say for myself - I was in my birthday suit!!   Let the awkwardness begin...

First step was a fabulous cucumber facial... I love this massage! Then, just as I was starting to feel relaxed and at ease... THE FULL BODY DEEP SCRUB began!  ...and when I say deep scrub, I mean DEEP SCRUB!!  She used what felt like the equivalent of sand paper and scrubbed like her life depended on it!  This lady didn't miss a crevice either... and then awkwardness commences!  By the end of the 40 minute sand paper scrub, my whole body was numb and red!  lol  Then, she rubbed globs of lemon scented butter oil ALL over and said I was finished!  Come again?!  I have crap all over me, and slippery crap at that!  So, I slid off the table and tried my best to get to the other side of the showers to wash it off without slipping and falling on my face!  As if being the ONLY naked blonde foreigner walking through the bathhouse was enough, I had to do it with butter all over my body!  Oy vey!

I spent the next 5 minutes getting the butter off and then the next hour paying 80 cents for 10 minutes in massage chairs and getting cozy in the river rock sauna room, where the floor is filled, a foot high, with smooth black river rocks!  Genius!  I'm home now, and proud to say I successfully endured an afternoon at the Jim Jil Bang without seeing any of my students (I would die!); the redness in my skin has subsided and my skin is softer than EVER!  I'd say that was a pretty successful day!


  1. oh my goodness. this is such a great story! loved it...had a smile on my face the whole time!