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Korean Tortuous Beautifying Routines

I almost forgot to tell you that I traveled to Korea at the end of 2010. My mother is a huge Korean drama fan. She watches 2 Korean drama episodes every day, and visiting Korea, especially where the drama was shot, had been listed in her wish list for many years. I’m not big on Korean dramas, in fact, quite the contrary, I hate their simple love and hate storylines. People weep hokily, and yell at each other too often in one episode. I was afraid if I went to Korea, I would come to realize how wonderful they really were, and would end up studying Korean instead of English.

  To my relief, that didn’t happen. However, Korean Kimchi was really scrumptious. Korean people pickle various vegetables with cayenne, and eat them 3 times a day. Korean women had fairly smooth skins, presumably due to increased perspiration from ingesting spices and condiments.

 

 There was another secret for the Korean beauty. South Korea is famous for its esthetic salons, especially body scrubbing. My mother and I tried one of these salons at night. It wasn’t what I expected though. I thought that an esthetic salon was a comfy place, but I was wrong. A group of Japanese women were ushered to extremely hot saunas, which reminded me of perdition. The 10 minutes felt like an eternity… Because the warden-like Korean lady had shut the door tight and didn’t allow us to bust out, we gasped for air. We had to be put through several more saunas, and then ushered to a cold room next to the bathroom. There were several massage chairs separated by dingy curtains, and robust Korean ladies aged 50-60, wearing only lacy black bras and underwear, were washing naked people with a scrub brush. It was like they were washing misshaped, unsalable potatoes in the river, furious that their effort to sell the crop was dashed by some misfortune. There was no privacy, no dignity left as a human. I didn’t want to continue, however, it was an assembly-line operation, and dropping out of the assembly wasn’t an option that was given to us sacks of potatoes. So, I endured, believing that was a tribulation only given to a beautiful woman.

 

 After what felt like an eternity, my old skin was completely removed, and I was released with a red-scraped new skin, as if I had cast off the old skin like a snake.

 

 Being a beautiful woman is tough. (Of course, I’m exaggerating!)  It was a whole new experience, but I’m not sure I want to visit Korea again…

 年末年始に韓国に行って来ました。韓国に行ったが最後、韓国ドラマにハマって英語の代わりに韓国語を勉強し始めてしまうのではないか・・と恐れていましたが、そのようなこともなく。

韓国式エステは強烈でした。日本のエステだと、綺麗なお姉さんがヤワヤワと体を触ってくれるんだけど、韓国式エステは、黒いレースのブラとパンツを来た60歳くらいのたくましいオバサンが、まるで川で芋の子を洗うが如く、客を次々とやっつけていくという恐ろしい場所でした。

 

 新しい経験をした・・という意味では良かったが、とりあえず韓国はもういい…。


 

北朝鮮との国境近くから見た夕日。

 

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