Asia | Korea, Republic of | Seoul – Bath House

Asia | Korea, Republic of | Seoul – Bath House

12.15.02 5:48PM
I just got out of the sofa (bed). Not that it is a sofa bed, it is a little love seat and I have been sleeping on it, legs hanging off at the knees, and head and neck at a ninety degree angle to the rest of my body. We went out to a rave last night. Super DJ Sasha was spinning records and we danced almost until the sun came up. It was held at one of the fanciest hotels in Seoul, in the ballroom. It was pretty crazy because raves are still in the beginning stages here and security had no idea what to expect. They were carrying people out on left and right. It was pretty bazaar. I guess that is what a rave is supposed to be, but now that I am sober, and not the one passed out and being carried out, or falling off the stage, or puking all over myself, it is a very different experience. Parts of it were fun, don’t get me wrong, dancing and hanging out with sexy girls is fun, but the total carnage surrounding it was hard to watch. It was mostly foreigners, English teachers and well, I guess most of the foreigners were English teachers and about the other half were Koreans. We went with one of Tony’s English students, So-tall, and her brother, Song-ill. That is not So-tall’s real name, but it is easy to remember because she is very tall, and I might add, very beautiful. Tony is out getting some carry out right now, and I think I hear him coming up the stairs. It has been so many years since I have gone to a rave, it was surprisingly so much fun. It was sponsored by an Smirnoff Vodka, and British Tobacco, so they were giving out cigarettes and trying to make smoking look very glamorous, they failed to continue to keep the cameras rolling for the guy with the bloodied and bashed in face, and the guy with the broken thumb, and all the passed out drunk people, laying in their own vomit, but don’t worry, I didn’t miss those pictures. I got the whole gamut. Tony and Kiwha just got back with the food. He brought back some Mandu. They are dumplings filled with pork and some kind of vegetables. “Mondu just means dumpling basically.” Says Kiwha. Kiwha is Tony’s girlfriend all thought they are not allowed to officially be called boyfriend and girlfriend yet, I don’t really understand. I think there are some kind of cultural issues here. Her and her friend Pracilla went to the rave with us also. I don’t think anyone has really slept yet. Pulling an all nighter can really screw up your next dayer. If I wasn’ already suffering from jet lag, I am now suffering from rave lag. OH my goodness! I almost didn’t write about it. Yesterday was such a wonderful day. We went to one of those places with a barbershop pole. It was a bathhouse sauna place. I am not really sure what the barbershop pole was for. I was told that it was for prostitution, but now that I think about it, that person must have been wrong, because there were men getting hair cuts and shaves in there. They are trying to tell me now, that the double pole is for prostitution, but I don’t believe that, because this place was pretty far from prostitution. There were naked women as the door handles, and naked bathing women pictures on the walls, but it wasn’t ever distasteful. It was very classy and nice. When Tony first told me about it I thought it was going to be something very gay, as in homosexual gay, not the happy gay, but it really wasn’t. I mean, if you are gay it might have been nice for you to go to some place where a bunch of men are walking around nude, but being gay is something, similar to the raves, something that just hasn’t happened yet. In many was Korea is still very innocent, untarnished by how terrible the world can become. It still hold many of the values that the United States in 1950 held. The importance of family, and basically good Christian values. Back to the bathhouse, there were these huge hot tubs and saunas, and freezing cold water bathes, and Tony and I had this guy scrub us down with a scratchy brush type thing that removes all of the dead skin, so now all that we have left is new shiny fresh skin. That was the bath part, and then there is this other section that there are men just hanging out, and playing Gomoku, and watching television, and there was this nap room that was filled with people, maybe ten or twenty sleeping. Parts of it were reminiscent of my humanities class and the bathhouses of Ancient Greece, but now that there is running water in just about every home, I don’t think the pubic bath would serve the same purpose. What it does do is serve as a place where men can go, and just get away from the pressures and stress of ordinary life. It was all very serene and relaxing. I didn’t hear anyone talking louder than me, and in fact, I am not sure I really hear anyone other that me and Tony even talking. It was an experience I would have to go to more often if I were to live here. In fact I would even like to go one more time, or maybe to a different one, just to see what it is like. It was really a wonderful experience. The words that I learned yesterday were, anyangseo, which can be used as a greeting or as a goodbye. I think the goodbye is a little shorter, and the sound is drawn out. Tony is walking Kiwha home, and when he gets back we will play games of chess until it is time for him to go to sleep. I am winning in chess, four games to three

Category : Asia | Korea, Republic of | Seoul , Uncategorized