Monday, July 12, 2010

STAYCATION: Body scrub

The second thing I did on my staycation was hit up Yongsan Spa (aka Dragon Hill Spa) near Yongsan Station. I'd been once before, and wanted to go again--Yongsan has a huge outdoor pool in addition to a bunch of outdoor baths, so I figured it would be more enjoyable in the summer.

It was! I had the whole place to myself, pretty much. I piddled around the outdoor pool, and then sat outside and read my book (currently engrossed in the The Aquariums of Pyongyang, highly recommended).

I also got a Korean body scrub treatment, something I'd always wanted to do but I have never been brave enough to try. Basically the treatment occurs whilest you are naked in the sauna portion of the jimjilbang--you lie on a table while an 아줌마 (ajuma--the respectful term for an older Korean woman), armed with rough scrubbing gloves and clad in her bra/underwear, exfoliates the crap out of your skin for twenty minutes or so.



If this sounds awkward, it was--my scrubber woman didn't speak a lot of English, but this didn't stop her from very sternly telling me to "RELAX" at least four times. After a bit, however, I was able to forget that I was lying naked on a table, being pulverized by a semi-clothed woman old enough to be my grandmother. I'm sure these women at Yongsan have seen it all, body-wise--foreign, Korean, young, old, fat, thin--and I found this thought comforting. By the end of the treatment, the table was covered with little bits of my rolled off dead skin (DELICIOUS), and I was almost asleep.

I would highly recommend the treatment as an alternative to a massage--my skin feels really good now. Plus, a body scrub at Yongsan is only 20,000 won--as opposed to a 50,000 won massage. SCRUBBY SCRUB SCRUB

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