Naked and Unafraid

This past week after work one of my coworkers asked me if I wanted an “interesting experience” with a mischievous grin. I was tired from having hyper children crawling on me all day while I tried to teach them English and my first impulse as an introvert was to go back to my apartment and re-charge for the following day. However, I figured I owed it to myself to at least try something new, even though I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I was told it was a “spa” and that it was unlike anything I had ever done before. I was advised to keep an open mind and that it might not be for me. I was more intrigued after being warned of the weirdness so I happily agreed with a “how bad could it be?” mindset.

So, we walked about 20 minutes from our school to a neighborhood that I had never been to in Cheonan. I probably couldn’t find it by myself if I tried right now, or maybe I could trust blind faith. Either way, we showed up to what looked like a typical gym. We paid at a welcome desk, about $4 USD per person and my coworker smiled and said “here we go.” He lead me into a locker area and after a confusing ritual of taking our shoes off, putting our shoes in one locker, walking to another locker room, I was told, “time to get naked.”

What ensued was a typical male gym locker room experience. Hell, it was a typical after-phys. ed. experience at my all boy high school too. You strip down and head over to the showers. Except, there was an entire self-service spa here. It’s called a jimjabang. Yes, it’s pretty much a bath house. Now you might be thinking, is that the same sort of place the singer George Michael got bagged for soliciting another young gentleman back in the 90’s? Well, hell if I know.

Essentially what you do here is open up the pores in your skin by alternating between hot tubs of various heat level, steam room, sauna, icy baths, swimming pools and ice cold showers. I’ve done such things while staying in a friend’s cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin in the dead of winter. I’ve been blessed throughout my life with pretty good skin so exfoliating has never really been something I was too concerned with. However, I’m a sucker for a good hot tub, especially if it’s just a few marks below scalding. Luckily these hot tubs are very hot and big enough so you’re not too close for comfort with the other buck naked dudes splayed out getting their skin treatment on.

I think the series of events that unfolded were as follows: first you’ve got to shower before you go in the spa area, so you just wash up with soap and water. Then, you dunk in a hot tub for a bit and soak for a while, which leads to a steam room. After steaming for me was an unquestioned amount of time (think somewhere between discomfort and unconsciousness), you walk to an industrial looking shower that pours ice cold pressurized water on you. Hampton Beach Innie Club. Then, you go back to the hot tub area to the hotter tubs, which are, even by my standards, hot as hell. Then from there, you get into a lap pool which seems really cold as well and do some laps to get your blood flowing. Then, back into the fire; a 130 degree sauna for say 10 minutes to death. After the sauna you go lay on cold bricks and marble flat on your back until your heart rate normalizes and you start to come back to the real world. Then, it’s one last dip in the special hot tub which looks like a kiddie pool that a dirty dog just got out of. Apparently it’s a specialty soil bath that is very good for your skin. I reserve judgement.

After your repeated scalding and cooling in rapid succession, you head over to a separate shower area again and scrub the skin off of your body with a body cloth that feels like it’s been dipped in commercial grade sandpaper. You just lather and scrub, lather and scrub and lather and scrub until your skin starts to either bleed or feel clean. For whatever reason, I can take the super hot water, but rubbing my skin until its raw turns me into a weakling, so I just finished up a little early and headed back to the locker room with my co-worker.

At the end of it all, I felt good. I felt like my skin was clean.I also felt like I lost at least a quarter inch of epidermis too. At what cost? Well, at just $5 USD, I think it was a fair price for such an experience. Would I recommend it and do it again? You betcha. As long as you don’t have too many body self-esteem issues (there are dongs literally everywhere) and you don’t mind putting yourself through dramatic shifts in body temperature, I think it’s a fine experience to re-invigorate just about anybody.

For the ladies curious about jimjabangs; yes, there are jimjabangs available just for females too. I hope to be invited to review one of those someday as well.

Until next time, stay weird and righteous.

Patience May Not Get Me Through This Line Faster…

…But it does help me avoid an addiction to anti-anxiety medication.

WARNING: This is a profanity laced rant as I sit delayed in an airport en route to Boston from Madison.

The same cannot be said for some of these jackasses who act like they’re VIP in this airport. I can’t deal with people who try to look well put together but have no control over their emotions or egos. When you’re stuck in the same situation as everyone else; you’re fucked, the staff is fucked and the weather doesn’t appear to be un-fucking itself any time soon. So, is getting upset of any value to you or anyone else?

Shit, you may get a seat upgrade, some frequent flyer miles or a mini-bottle of vodka to wash down your anti-psychotics, but yr. not getting my karmic sympathies. I don’t care what you do for a living, I don’t care how much money you make and I certainly don’t care if you “can’t believe this.”

On a lighter note, Google is providing free wireless to the Madison airport. Say goodness for that. See you fools on the East Coast soon! 😀

Liberal Chicken, Conservative Egg Head

Which came first? On my commute today I pondered the statements made by several wealthy uncles of mine who are positive that all liberals eventually evolve into conservatives after the age of 30. Clearly taxes, gays and abortion takes on a new meaning once you’ve seen one third of a century. Clearly they’ve never been to Cambridge, Newton. I do understand they’re observations of the many wealth middle-agers who may have marched in a demonstration or two in their earlier years and maybe even smoked some pot in the process. Those examples surely must be the Jones’ down the street who are extremely concerned about and lose sleep over sex education in the class room and the terrorists poisoning their suburban water supply.

But, what is the human material that converted liberals are made of? Those are liberal chickens in my mind. They’re the types that probably were so dewy eyed in their youth that any handsome or loudmouthed organizer that fed them chunks of liberal propaganda was suddenly the next Jesus Christ. I know that exact type when I think hard. I’ve met so many young men and women who go off to college and are caught up in the excitement of politics or social issues. The problem is their relatively sheltered existences before college have left their psyche’s relatively fragile and pliable. This can lead to major self-discovery or an absolute burn out when that individual wants nothing to do with “the movement.”

Maybe I am a liberal chicken. Maybe I’ll cower and shrink from the liberal ideologues. I’m just concerned how I’ll socialize as a new conservative. I definitely cannot afford to go to their gatherings at high end restaurants and gentleman’s clubs. Maybe the conservatives can start a social welfare program helping liberal chickens to integrate into their new found political beliefs.
Of course illegal conservative immigrants would not get this benefit, because they cannot vote.

Just kidding. F*ck the man. I’m going to listen to the new Nas album 🙂