Okay, not so much a party, but there was a lot of naked.
Today, we were kind of short on plans, so Miriah and I decided to go check out the 24 hour sauna in Shin Jeju. These saunas, also known as jim-jil-bangs, are basically full out bath houses, and they are pretty awesome if you’re not freaked out by nudity.
And we all know that I think clothes are pretty awful, so I had a great time.
We went up to the sauna, which is on the sixth floor of a high rise, and paid five dollars at the entrance. Now, this is a 24 hour deal, and there isn’t a time limit, so you hear about people sleeping over all the time—and it’s legit, too. They have a concession stand with drinks and ramen, so I’m guessing this sort of thing isn’t frowned upon. Something to think about on the nights when I’m in Shin Jeju after busses stop and I don’t feel like taxiing home, eh?
So after paying our five dollars, we went into the shoe room, put our shoes in lockers and took a key with a number on it that corresponded to another locker inside the changing room. BAM. NAKED GRANDMA. Oh yeah, Korea. Oh yeah.
So inside the huge changing room, there’s all this stuff, right? We gave them the tickets we got when we paid and received three towels, but they had tons of stuff for sale like food and iced drinks and there could have been a booze fridge. How has America not gotten on this train yet? Oh right, homophobia.
So we stripped down and man, I need to get my prescription redone, because I am more blind than I recall. Or maybe it was just really really steamy in there. We walked through some frosted glass doors and we were in SAUNA LAND. There were stand up and sit down showers to the left, a large slatted gazebo for bathers to lay down and dry on under heat lamps, three huge hot tubs, one full of green tea, sauna rooms all the way to the right that went as far as being 95C. Two cold pools in the back, and in the back corner there were massage tables set up and a price list. Oh baby.
Some adjumma decided to play mommy with us and directed us over to the showers with her. Always shower first, kids. The Koreans don’t like it when you don’t shower. So we showered up, and she lent us some of her shampoo, and when we were all scrubbed down we headed towards the hotest tub and got in. Mmm, 50C water. So good. Miriah kept eyeing the tables in the back where adjumma in their bras and underwear were massaging and scrubbing people down. Since she’s been in desperate need of a massage, she decided to go check that out. I went over to check up on her later, and she had just pointed at something that said W20,000. So far, she had something very green on her face and the lady was rubbing her down with a salt/oil mixture. Later I saw them scrubbing her with special gloves, and when she was finally done about half an hour later, her skin was red from all the exfoliation. She said it hurt like hell. I wanna try too!
I bought some iced green tea from the concession stand and we went into the green tea tub for a bit while we drank it before we decided to brave the saunas…we lasted maybe two minutes in the coolest one. It was insane, and hard to breathe, and I think it was only 49C. There was one that was 95C. Of course, all the Koreans were in that one.
We spent some time laying on the gazebo to air dry, and I thought that maybe the nicest part of the whole experience was seeing a bunch of naked Korean chicks. Okay, not like that, but seriously, for all the crap that some of my teachers give me about being skinnier, it was nice to roll up and see that a good 30% of the women in the room were as big or bigger than me and were completely comfortable being naked.
I’M GONNA GO EEEEVERY WEEK. <3