Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Put this on your "To Do" list

I studied abroad in Seoul, Korea the past year and one of my favorite things to go to was a "jjimjilbang." If you don't know what that is, it's a Korean version of a sauna and bathhouse, and yes, with full fledged nudity. It's about as close as I could get to being naked in public with strangers without getting arrested. (The baths were gender-seperated though)

In November 2009 I went with a bunch of my lady friends to a small historical city called Gyeongju, on the lower southeast coast.

After a day of hiking and sight-seeing in the cold weather, we were pretty psyched to soak it up at the local jjimjilbang nearby. It was a small bathhouse with a sauna, showers, and a hot and cold pool. It was packed with a lot of the locals, and they didn't hide their surprise when they saw a bunch of foreigners come in. It's already sort of awkward if they stare at you in public with your friends in the subway or at the stores, etc. But think of the awkwardness of them staring at you ...naked.
* Note: If you don't know what a "twinkie" person is, look it up. Hi-larious~
Anywho, we minded our own business just unwound and chilled out for awhile. We were all sitting in the small hot bath, 6 people in it were already a bit much, but we still didn't mind.

Suddenly this old woman came up to join us, I won't get too descriptive, but imagine an 82 year old woman naked...No wait, don't.

We've been to several bathhouses before so we just ignored it and figured she just wants to sit and enjoy the water too, so we scooted over to make room for her. We were pretty wrong though, this wasn't sit and soak time, this was "Awkward-Exercises-In-A-Tiny-Crowded-Tub" time. Slowly and casually a few of us melted out of the pool, leaving my dear friend Jenny behind. I think she had the impression that the woman would be done soon.

I'm not sure what workout program she's been doing, it might be the "Let's jump awkwardly against the bathwall with our parts in everyone's faces" exercise, or "Let's bellyflop right in the middle of the pool and stick our bums in peoples faces" exercise. All that was left in the tub was her and Jenny.

Poor, poor Jenny.

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