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Jo's Korean and Other Crazy Adventures Jo is coming back to teach in China for a second year that is sure to be filled with new crazy adventures!

Volleyball, fire therapy, and Children's Day

SOUTH KOREA | Saturday, 5 May 2007 | Views [1412]

Fire therapy, you ask? It really is as strange as it sounds, trust me! This past week has been one of a kind. After hearing that volleyball was a big competition between schools -I decided to join the volleyball team. I love volleyball, but it's been a dog's age since I've played. Well, at least since high school.

The first game was a practice, and I soon learned that there are only three girls and six men on the team. Unlike in Canada, we don't rotate players. In fact, the woman stand in the back, and just look pretty. The men take over the court, as I soon found out.

The second game was against another school in the area. This is a huge event, I realized. All the staff came to cheer us on, and Korea fighting song was very popular. Well sad to say that we lost our first competition, but that didn't stop my staff from celebrating.

Maybe because they were so disappointed after winning against that school last year, hence for the heavy drinking on a school night. Whatever the case, I never drank so much as I did that night. Everyone was pouring me shots of fruit wine, makjou and soju. The vice principal was drunk out of his tree. He told me about twenty or more times, that he appreciated my effort. He also invited me to his house in a few weeks to meet his family. So, overall it was a great few days, even if we did lose.

The next day, I felt not only hungover, but extremely sore. The ball seemed overly hard, and my arms and back were sore from serving so much. I didn't even get to volley the ball once during the game because of the men dominating the court. I decided to visit a massage place in my building. I had been there a few months prior, and I thought I knew what to expect. The last time, she pounded the heck out of me, even when I said a "soft" massage. I was left with very red marks all over me. I was even more sore the next day. But, this time was totally different.

She used hot stones, and then told me she was going to use, "fire therapy." Since she barely spoke a word of English, she didn't answer me when I asked her what it involved. All I remember is her putting cold clothes on my back, and shooting baby oil on them and then lighting it up with a bbq lighter. I was laughing, but freaking out inside when she had the nerve to show me the flames on my back with a mirror. Thank god, I didn't catch on fire. She said it warmed up the muscle. I was happy when she took the cloth off, and I still had my skin intact.

Next thing you know she does fire therapy on my legs. I told her "no more" and she finally stopped. Oh my God! This would not go over in the west. I can just imagine people's horror when they are lit on fire, and then have the nerve to call this 'fire therapy.'

Well after that fiasco, I must admit, I felt much better the next day. For the money that I paid, I don't think I'll go back to her. She did say she wanted to study English with me. So that was a nice surprise.

Friday was a celebration of sports day, and all the students did sport activities outside. That was fun to watch. Some of the activities were extremely unique. That had a pinata like ball that the kids had to shoot beanbags at to break it open. The kids went nuts and started shooting beanbags all over the place. They also had a humungous medicine type ball, that was passed down the lines from student to student. I enjoyed taking photos of the whole event with the school camera.

Deep Thought: Who's bright idea was it to introduce "Fire Therapy" to Koreans? I've seen some weird things in Korea, but this definitely takes the cake. ;)


Tags: culture

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