I’m bathing in hot water, surrounded by men, they are naked, they are looking at me. In the corner there is a naked man getting a vigorous massage from another man, he is also naked. I feel tired, I go to sleep with many men, I wake up, go to roll over, but there is a man there.
No this is not an excerpt from an erotic gay magazine, its how I have spent most of my nights in Korea. As a cheap accommodation source we have slept at the Jimshilbangs, otherwise known as bath houses. They are open 24 hours, it’s a place where you go to relax in the hot pools, saunas etc, all located within a high-rise building. There is a floor for males and another for females with a common middle floor where you meet/sleep etc wearing issued pyjamas. Despite my introduction, there is nothing seedy about it, there’s even a bit of a family scene, kids sometime splashing around, albeit 4am in the morning on a Tuesday……… ummmm what about school?
The Jimshilbangs were one of the things that I couldn’t wait to get back amongst, I really missed them when I left Korea 5 years ago. I remember the first time I went to one, I loved it, although it took a bit of getting use to, being constantly stared at. The Koreans love to stare, and when your the only naked foreigner in a sea of naked Korean men, you get a lot of stares. Just imagine how many stares I get now, as back then I was short haired and clean shaved, now I’m dread locked and tattooed (the 15 months I lived here, I never saw a Korean with dreadlocks, and the only people with tattoos in Korea are the mafia).
PS. Now I’m on the road traveling it is harder to insert photos into the posts as I do not have the time ie I’m in internet cafes, but I will try my hardest. I have added some photos to my previous Singapore post below.