Reflexology: To Help Your Mind and Cause you PAIN!
On Friday night after work Rob and I decided once again to visit the Jimjillbong (aka The Bath House). We both decided that it was about time that we threw down some coin for a massage.
[For those who are new to the Bath House concept, they are interesting Korean hang out spots. Basically, you have about 8 different saunas, all at different temperatures with different "healthful" qualities...ie: Rocks that do something good for you, Smelly stuff that smells good, different rock lined walls, ect. Anyway, they also have a PC room, slurpee machines, ping pong tables, DVD room, massage room, hair salon, nail place, restaurant, and, of course, the Baths, which also come in different temperatures, along with the multiple steam rooms.]
Anyway, Rob and I felt it was about time that we paid for a good massage. We work hard right...? So anyway, we decided that the first thing we were going to do was check out the massage room. We can sort of read Korean, but we're not really sure the meaning of most of the words that we can read, so we did what we usually do...point and smile. So we picked a massage off the list and the lady told us to come back in an hour and a half (she told us in Korean so we weren't exactly sure what she said). So we go to saunas and the shiatsu massage tables while we wait and just chill for a bit.
Finally an hour and a half passes and we go into the massage room. Rob and I are put onto tables next to each other and the women start doing their "prep work." Let me start by saying that this is a fully clothed massage, so don't be sketching out. Anyway, they start lubing up our legs with this oily good smelling stuff. We both have a cloth over our eyes so I couldn't fully see what she was doing or how Rob was reacting. Turns out after MUCH pain that we paid for reflexology and accuepressure massages. I'm a fan of reflexology cause it hurts a ton, but when it's finished it feels great, but seriously, this lady was digging DEEP! Honestly today I woke up with brusies on my shins from this woman digging her knuckles into me.
Ok, so here's the part that made me laugh a lot. Rob and I were next to each other right? And so about 10 minutes into the massage I hear giggling. I'm not even kidding you Rob was laughing like a little school girl. So finally I said, "Rob, what are you laughing at?" (keep in mind I still can't see him). He replies, "It tickles!" And I was like "Are you serious?" Man, it was great. The thing is, he just kept on laughing throughout the massage, which made me laugh. I was working really hard to stay relaxed, but everytime he laughed I laughed. The other thing I heard was his Korean massage lady say "Ouchie?" And he said "Yes, Ouchie!" He was hurting big time and squirming and giggling the entire hour that we had this massage. It was great for the most part. However, no Asian massage is complete without physical abuse. Nearing the end of our massage they start hitting you on the back. Yep, just hitting. Not sure what that does. It didn't hurt or anything, but it's more shocking I guess after you're all relaxed.
Anyway it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed it, although I think I'll pick another one from the list next time I go for it. Something a little less....painful.
Bath houses are awesome. However, the idea would never fly in Western culture. It just wouldn't. Westerners have too many self-image issues, where as the Koreans could really care less what you look like.
We ended up staying at the Bath house until about 2am, then came home and passed out. We totally slept in today though cause we're both feeling kinda sick. I've got a cold and I think Rob's getting it now too. We're both coughing like we've got the Black Lung. I guess that being around little germy kids all day doesn't help for staying healthy.
Maybe I need to eat more Kimchi.