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Seoul weekend... The first kiss!

SOUTH KOREA | Thursday, 17 July 2014 | Views [830]

A little while after we went to Gyeongju, Robin invited me up to Seoul for a party weekend. I had no clue how to get there, and luckily by this time I had a phone, so soon we were on a bus headed for Seoul. 

 

The plan was to meet Robin's friends from England, Dan and Cathy, and then possibly meet up with all of the other people from the area where Robin used to live. We got some food, had some drinks, and were soon happily partying away in a club. The partying was pretty uneventful. Met up with a lot of people, and danced and drank. 

 

The night changed when we left the club and moved to a second floor bar. I looked over and Dan, Cathy, and Robin were all looking worse for wear... They were swaying, although now that I think about it, it may have been me swaying. Haha! Anyway, I took charge and declared that it was time to go. Dan and Cathy told the cab driver to take us to Dragon Hill Spa, and then all three of them passed out. My South African genes were on the alert, and I refused to fall asleep for fear of being taken somewhere weird for a crazy satanic ritual. I think I spent most of that cab ride with my head out the window, like a dog, so that my eyes would stay open. Luckily though, this is Korea, and we made it safe and sound at the entrance to the spa.

 

It took a while to wake all three comatose people in the back of the cab, but Cathy was the most difficult. She just wanted to curl up on the seat and carry on sleeping. Dan eventually had to pick her up and put her over his shoulders, which was a totally bad idea. The sudden movement, and the pressure from Dan's bony shoulders on her delicate tummy, meant Cathy was soon watering the flowers outside the spa. (and on a side note - those flowers no longer exist!) While all of this was happening, and Dan was rubbing Cathy's back and holding her hair up, Robin came up to me, and kissed me. I suppose it could have been romantic? The swaying made me feel like I was on a boat, and there was the sound of waterfalls in the background... Hahahaha Okay, no. Ii was one of those moments you wish you couldn't remember. Luckily for Robin, he didn't. FAIL! Haha

 

Anyway, after a while, Cathy felt better and we went inside. Dragon Hill is a jjimjjilbang, a traditional korean sauna. Basically, you enter the spa, and are given a wristband. It has a computer disc in it which you swipe in order to buy things, like drinks, games in the arcades, haircuts, and massages. As you enter there is a huge arcade and shop. Then, in the middle of the arcade are two golden elevators. The girls go in one, and the boys in the other. It is completely segregated in the sauna parts, because you are COMPLETELY naked. In the seperate areas, you take your clothes off, and either go into the sauna areas (which have everything from saunas to ice baths, jacuzzis and what Rob and Dan call "hamster cages" - I'm not sure what they are, but they really smell bad), or you put on the special sleep clothes and rejoin the men, to sleep on the floor. Cathy and I did neither. Robin and Dan did EVERYTHING except sleep! 

 

 Once we were inside the girl section of the jjimjjilbang, Cathy (who had perked up considerably since her episode outside) and I got changed into our jjimjjilbang sleeping clothes, but instead of going up to the sleeping room, we spend the better part of two hours, trying to fit ourselves into our lockers. The lockers are about one metre tall, and thirty centimetres tall. Cathy managed to squeeze herself in, anfter a few attempts in different positions, at one point even standing on her head. She, however is about one metre tall, and 30 centimetres in DIAMETER. Also, did I mention she has been a gymnast all her life and is SUPER flexible?? The real issue came when she decided I should give it a try. I don't think my torso could fit in there by itself, if I could detach it from the rest of my body. Cathy did try to help though. She pushed and pulled me, and told me to try a top locker rather than a bottom one (with EXACTLY the same dimensions). Eventually, the inevitable happened, and I got stuck, so it took a while for her to pull me out. She was laughing so hysterically at my plight that tears were streaming down her face. So I exacted revenge. I told her to get back into the locker so I could get a picture, and then I locked it. Okay, only for like 5 seconds, but it felt good! Haha!

 

After the locker shenanigans, we were exhausted, so we headed up to the sleeping room, and stole "pillows" (foam blocks about 10cmx10cmx10cm) from any place we could find them, and pulled up a spot on the floor. The next morning I woke up with a shock. Robin and Dan were standing over us, their faces about a foot away from mine. They told us they had not slept yet and were going to go into the hamster cages if we were keen to join. We decided to get a bit more sleep, but they came back after about 5 minutes, saying that they couldn't handle the smell. They said they were starting to get hungry, and that we should get up. All four of us headed down to the arcade, and we played a few games. Then we decided to go up to the naked sections, and have some jacuzzi / sauna time to get over our hangovers. We went our seperate ways, to meet again at a designated time, ready to go and get food.

 

Cathy and I were totally naked in the girl's section. Well, I say totally naked, but I still had my jewellery on. First we got into a jacuzzi. It was so relaxing and I was starting to feel less-horrendous by the minute. Next we went to the outdoor jacuzzi. It was nice, but a little on the cold side. We decided to do it properly, and tested out the ice bath. It wasn't nice! Finally, we decided to sweat out the remaining alcohol in our system, in the sauna. It was great... At first. I am not an experienced spa-goer, and I should have known to take my jewellery off. My Saint Christopher around my neck turned into a molten necklace, attempting to brand me every time it touched my skin. I felt like I was being "necklaced" in a South African mob lynching. I ran, naked, to the ice bath to cool off.

 

We got dressed and headed down to meet the guys. When you leave the jjimjjilbang, they scan your wristband and check how much money you owe. It is about 6,000 won ($6) for a night. With the water we had bought, and a few arcade games, Cathy and I each spent around $7. Dan scanned his, and had to pay $65, and Robin owed $75. We couldn't believe it! They had had the opposite kind of night to what we had. 

 

Once we went our seperate ways, the boys got more beer, and carried on drinking. They hadn't slept at all, instead getting massages, body scrubs, hair cuts, nose hair trims, and god knows what else. They also played arcade games, and "explored" the jjimjjilbang. They even told us about some secret staircase they found. They started going up the stairs, and an old man told them to stop. They decided that they had to find out where it led, so the two naked guys ran upstairs, followed by the old naked man, yelling abuse at them!

 

The morning in the saunas had done wonders for Cathy and me. We were feeling great, and over our hangovers. The boys' time in the saunas, though, had taken them from drunk to hungover. They looked terrible. Dan said he REALLY needed food, so we headed out. We were standing at the pedestrian crossing, waiting for our turn to cross the road, when Dan declared (with his hand across his forehead, in the most dramatic way ever) that he couldn't make it. He said something along the lines of "You guys go ahead. I won't make it! Save yourselves!" We dragged him across the road, and got him some street food on the corner, before his untimely demise had a chance to occur. 

 

And that, my friends, was how my first weekend out in Seoul happened!

Tags: dragon hill spa, first kiss, jjimjjilbang, party, seoul

 

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