If you answered 'yes' to the all of the above, then you need a trip to the JJIMJILBANG (follow link for a beginner's guide). But jjimjilbangs can be strange and scary places, to the uninitiated foreigner. So how do you deal with the ajumma stares, snoring and public nudity? Here's my ultimate guide to jjimjilbang survival.
After stripping down in the locker room of the ladies' sauna a few weeks ago, I contemplated that my arse had gotten saggier since the last time I went to the spa. I suspect this had little to do with me gaining weight (unlikely, given my deplorable diet of cereal bars and milky coffee), but more to do with sitting on said arse for long periods of time, for example, now as I write this blog. A visit to the spa is for some an opportunity to peruse one's naked body in the reflection of a full-length mirror, and of course there are dozens of other naked bodies around to compare it with. As I put my clothes into the locker, a mother and daughter started stripping down next to me. When the mother lifted up her top, the young girl exclaimed, 'Oh, bet-sal!', the Korean term for 'tummy-fat'.