On Sunday I was coerced into visited my first “jinjabong”, or Korean sauna, on Jeju island.
Not to be…whatever, of course this is sexist, but FOREIGN WOMEN LOVE THESE STUPID SAUNAS.
They can’t get enough of them. If my co-workers are stressed out or in a bad mood or have too much time on their hands (and I can’t convince them to do something interesting, like going to the casino or cooking me dinner) then their Plan A plan is to go to the jinjabong.
I’m still not sure what the appeal is of these places. Everyone gets naked, so there’s that, but its also segregated by gender, so there’s that too. There’s all these rooms and all this steam and you’re supposed to relax.
But I don’t need to relax. Or at least, I don’t need to spend money and get naked at a sauna to do so. If I want to get naked, I can do so any time I want in my apartment and the only person who’s going to stare at me is the cleaning lady who has my key.
There’s also apparently a jinjabong in Jeju city with my likeness sculpted in painted glass, with tight abs and a bow and arrow. So it’s like I’m always there watching! I can’t see it, though, since it’s in the women’s section.
As one of my co-workers noted, “it looks like you if you were…better looking.”
Fuck you, Kate. Go to one of your stupid jinjabongs.
The symbol for a jinjabong is this red line with swiggles coming out of it. They’re all over the place and when I first saw one I thought that they were a chain of roasted chicken, like Boston Market or Kenny Rogers or something.
But no, they’re just where assholes get naked.
I went to one on Sunday and somehow I avoided hating it. They give you these uniforms and I didn’t have have to take my clothes off, I was able to go to this outdoor area where there were these pools (possibly or impossibly heated by hot springs).
It was like going to a hot tub party. I remember when I used to not have to pay to go into a hot tub.
There were also great views of Sangbangsan, the oreum/mini-mountain which dominates the southwest part of the island.
There was this wooden shack which was heated and that was kind of cool too.
People forced me into this room called the “oven”, where you sweat and “release toxins” even though really you’re just re-enacting a scene from as-yet-filmed horror movie. It’s not just that its stiflingly hot, its that its cramped and the room is made out of bricks. It’s too bad there were no eggs to fry.
But other than that it was nice. Sitting in the hot tub was a great contrast to a Sunday evening adventure so high octane that I’m not recounting it in the blog. Writing about Sunday evening would mean no longer suppressing the memory. At least I’m still alive. It feels good to be alive. Change of subject:
Last week I entered my first-grade classroom and half the students were crying. There’s only six of them, but still. One of the kids was bawling, and remained doing so for the entire class (more on that later).
I had to get two Korean co-teachers to come in and explain the situation to me, probably because the kids were so distraught that it took a while for the message to come out.
It turns out that the cause of all the misery was the debate over who gets the SPECIAL SEAT.
The special seat appears to be just a random seat off-center to the chalkboard, but my first-graders knew better. Sophie stole the seat, and then Kyle, who must have wanted the seat, called her a poopie-head or something similar, and so the class took to destroying each other in such a fashion.
I tried explaining to them that every seat was special, but they knew better than that. So then I said that yes, Sophie had the special seat today, but I’d pull names out of a hat for the special seat every day thereafter.
I asked my Korean co-teacher about the special seat, and why it was so special. The answer was along the lines of:
1. it faces the white board
2. it’s close to the middle of the room
3. Kyle said it was special
Kyle has some issues with competitiveness. Today he held his marbles for 20 minutes beyond the safety point just so that he could win “the letter game.” Good job Kyle. You won…exactly the same thing as the other kids did.
Finally, some more pictures, this from a hike I went on a few weeks ago along the water.
The road to adventure.
A happy little statue.
These are pictures of the town near Seossokak Estuary, a lovely little spot about 5-7 miles east of Seogwipo.
Seogwipo Transplanted to Mars:
(actually that’s not accurate, Mars has a pink sky)
Finally, I stopped at a fun little cafe to reflect:
This blog post is dedicated to Gary Carter, who passed away tragically and meant a lot to the Met fans of a previous generation.
Also, read up Canadians: Gary Carter is the only Hall of Famer for the Montreal Expos, a baseball team that used to play in Canada’s Frenchiest city.