Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cinderella has left me with nothing but time...and hair

First of all, I have to get this off my chest - Cleveland is a city, not a state! And not even a particularly great city!! The fact that Cleveland State, this year's media darlings as the cinderella story, completely ruined my bracket by beating former #1 Wake Forest has got me seething beyond my yearly frustration - it's usually not until the end of the Sweet 16 that I am angry, and out of my March Madness pools!
And so, with nothing but time on my hands now - although I had loads of it before but I needed to vent, I mean, come on, Cleveland State!?! - I am going to do my best to check in here a little more regularly over the next 6 weeks as we wind up our time in Korea, getting ready for our next adventure. In May we head to Bali for a month of relaxation, surfing, and relaxation, and then in June, I fulfill a life-long dream of traveling across our great country , while Tasha fulfills a dream of her own, becoming a yoga instructor . In all respects, those 10 weeks are going to be pretty awesome and exciting.

But whenever I get ready to move on, it gets me looking back on the past a little, as I try to remember the things I've seen and done, both good and bad. Fortunately, the good has far exceeded the bad over this two-year sojourn. And with that, over the next few weeks I am going to try and trim the list of incredible experiences to ten to share with you.

Of course, this leaves me feeling pulled in many directions - thinking about what's next, trying to recall the past, all the while trying to be here and now, which is a pretty sweet place to be. Spring has fully sprung here on the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, and I hope to share some incredible pictures of the cherry blossoms and beaches in the next week or two. Plus, there is still a baseball game or two to catch, which supposedly ranks up there as one of the true great live sporting experiences. The World Baseball Classic may have fizzled somewhat in North America, but here in Korea, they are captivated and taking 4-hour long lunches, with the excitment surely to peak now that they are in the finals.

With all this excitement going on, what is one to do?

Well, here in Korea, I believe they have the answer - the Jinjabong! This wonderful place caters to the stressed which, as I've stated before, is many here in Korea, and not just because of six-day work weeks (although that is enough if you ask me). Essentially what this place is, is hot rooms, steam rooms and baths. As a modest North American I was unable to fully enjoy the experience, as there are sections seperated by the sexes, where nudity is required. But aside from the uncomfortable nudity - for me only - in certain places (although I am told there is no judging), this place is a virtual cornocopia of relaxation....coin operated massage chairs and tables, masseuists on site, and sleeping rooms to crash, although if you just feel like laying down in the middle of the floor, do it.

As I learned, these Jinjabongs are an institution here in Korea. Families spend entire weekends. Turns out, these places can double as a hotel being that they are open 24 hours and most have tasty little restaurants. And as long as you don't leave, you can use the place for as long as you like. There is no alcohol permitted inside, but it would be a pretty great place to crash after a good night of socializing, as it seemed many were doing. Just roll up at 3 am, grab a spot in the 56 degree celcius room and sweat out your transgressions. (Bloggers note: Rooms range from a pleasing 40 degrees celcius to a sweltering and ass-burning 78 degrees.) And when you wake up, take a naked plunge into the pools, coming out fresher than the day you were born. Not a bad way to start a day considering the many ways I've tried after a night out.

Now if we could just get over ourselves - and when I say ourselves, I mean me, and by me I mean everyone thinks exactly like me, right? - we could open up a few of these places in Toronto, melting that collective stress away. And whether it is stress from day-to-day life, or because your bracket got busted by some geographically confused cinderella team, the jinjabong is a sure-fire cure.

But since there isn't much chance of that happening, you can look at some pictures of my hair instead:

Relaxed? Thought so.

1 comment:

  1. Nice hair buddy!
    So long and flowing :)