Do you ever feel tired, sore and dirty? Do you ever wish you could find somewhere, 24 hours a day, to soak your aching muscles in hot water and scrub yourself clean for under $10? Do you ever wish you were in a room full of naked middle-aged Korean men?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then the jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse) might be for you. Without intending to, I ended up going to a jjimjilbang on three separate occasions this past week.
Here's a summary of what I do at a jjimjilbang: take off clothes, shower, have around 20 older Korean men visually examine my nether regions, soak in hot bath, shiver in cold bath, sit in a steamroom filled with traditional healing herbs, shower again.
But a jjimjilbang is more than just a public bath. It's also a place for Koreans to meet and hang out casually. Inside the co-ed area, there's a video game room, some spots to take a nap, even a karaoke room.
Don't worry, the co-ed area is not nude! That's why I have this snazzy uniform. Everyone gets one at the door. Once you're clean, you put on your outfit and join your friends.
Some artificial logs to rest against while you watch T.V. or chat.
Of course, nothing says "take a nap" like a red light in a cavern...