Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Well it has been awhile so I figure I should try to get up to date. Funny enough I had been dying to get out the latest bit of news. Well awhile ago it was the latest bit of news...now it is just old news...ahahaha, i digress.
The pics above are some of the left overs from the last entry. There are just some really interesting things to look at! The jars are containers for soy sauce (or so I am told) but there are tonnes everywhere and there seems to be an attempt to make one more beautiful then the next.
There are corner stores like this one on every corner, right next to each other, on top of each other...but I thought this one merited attention because it shows the sort of things that happen here...like the cakes on display outside. There is always tonnes of crap piled outside every door front.
The pic of the mall type thing with the arched overhang should appear in more of my blogs at is an area in Ulsan that i frequent and for good reason. It is a truly wonderful and interesting place, filled with everything imaginable. And dare I say it, it has character...
So what have I been dying to share? Well, I did it! Yep, that is right all...I sucked it up, and got naked and made my way through the mobs of Koreans to share in the public bath experience. Holy crapperoonie! It was the most terrifying, intimidating, and truly wonderous experience. Though, because I was so excited and nervous I ended getting a nuclear migraine and having to leave early. Despite that I got to experience something that I am so very grateful for, and clamouring to get a chance to try again. So let me give the break down...
I didn't have the courage to do this by myself of course, so I went with April and Dean, which is probably why I actually worked up the nerve to go in the first place. They both have the knack of putting me at ease. In any case, the venue was just like any community center with the pungent smell of chlorine but once through the seperate doors it is soooo different. We got changed...me working up the nerve to get naked and stay as such, carrying my goods...shampoo etc. So we walk through the frosted glass doors and as every eye in the place looked up to notice the large white body sauntering in to the place I try to wrap myself in the facecloth sized towel to hide as much as I can. Luckily April was very relaxed and radiating ease at me. She leads me to a mirror with shower head and hose and a wee plastic seat. It was rather like ...HUH? She tells me to sit down and when we figure out that I got a bum shower we then have to wander the baths looking for two free seats. Yeah! That went over well! Anyways...we finally sit down and so begins the massive scrubbing/cleaning ritual. Once shiny clean we got up and wandered to the soaking baths. There were about 6 individual baths (just like at home though stone rather than ceramic) and then 5 herb filled baths to soak in, each having their own healing properties. And changing in temperature depending on bath. Then off to the baking hot sauna where I almost passed out. There was a freezing cold pool that I studiously avoided and finally a waterfall type thing that I think put my neck out it was so much pressure. And finally back to the shower type thing to be exfoliated until my skin burned when rinse. But, and this is very bizarre for me to say, then my back was scrubbed by April and vice versa. But folks it doesn't end there...we put on these nasty short/t-shirt sets that were provided for us and head out to meet up with Dean.
It is at this point that the fun really begins. We head up to several cave type rooms after enjoying a snack type meal...the cave rooms are for example...all silver, all gold etc, again for the healing properties, you go in and lie on the floor...sleep, talk quietly, read whatever. It turns out that alot of people actually sleep in these places, they are open all night, and obviously super comfy. You can grab a wee pillow and blanket and curl up whereever. Also included are a few TV rooms, a massive DVD room, and a general lying about room. It all just exuded relaxation. Well, I got that far but didn't get to relax much in these rooms as the migraine hit about then and we had to get the heck outta dodge.
I can't wait to go back. :))
So now I will just include some more pics. Enjoy!
The pics of the Whales are part of a Whale hunting celebration on the Taehwa river. The fingernails? That was a manicure done that took 2 hours and was totally relaxing...though I hated the effect! haha.
The snowy pics are my view from my room, and please notice that yes, I have experienced snow here!