Hello dear readers! 😀
I have entered a contest on Expatsblog.com According to the contest rules, I’m not allowed to publish my entry but I thought you might like to read about my experiences in a Korean public bath. I’ve included an excerpt to pique your curiosity. If you’d like to read more, just click on the link. While you’re there, vote for me! Or any of the other lovely expat bloggers. There are so many people with interesting lives!
“Living in Korea and not going to a public bath would be a like living in Japan and not eating sushi. I had been living in Korea for almost six months before I had the chance to get naked with some friends. It wasn’t that I was shy; it was simply that the only baths I knew were near my school and I really didn’t relish the thought of getting naked with my students and their extended families.
During my first winter in Korea, a Korean friend asked me if I wanted to go to the spa with her. (In Korean, they’re called jimjilbangs and my friend translated it as spa.)
“Ooh, lovely!” I replied, imagining peaceful soaks in scented tubs, and possibly a massage. What a lovely way to spend a few hours!
“Great!” she replied. “I hope we have enough room in the car for everyone.”
“Um… who is coming?” I asked, wondering if I could back out after such an enthusiastic ‘yes!’
“You, me, my husband, our children, our neighbours and their children.”
To a spa? All of these people were going to share my scented tub? What kind of spa was this? Were they segregated by sex? I wanted to experience this essential bit of Korean culture but I didn’t really want to see my friend’s husband au naturel.
“We’ll pick you up at 8:30 tomorrow morning.”
“8:30?!” I gasped.
But there was no backing out, and presumably we would be back fairly early… after all, how long could you spend at a jimjilbang?”