Friday, January 21, 2011

Coming off the Mountain

A recent Harrington Time article regarding the hiking of Wolchulsan left readers with a promise to continue the story. That dear reader is where this article picks up.

Finding themselves off the mountain with a bit of food to curb the appetite, the Harrington’s and crew made their way into town where they were about to enjoy an all-out glorious Spa Extravaganza. For those readers who’ve resided in America or a few other Western nations all their lives, you may or may not be surprised to learn that a spa experience in South Korea has one distinguishing feature: nudity. That’s correct, to enter the spa’s and hot springs of South Korea it is necessary to strip down to complete nothingness (this is of course after having made your way to your gender specific spa area). Needless to say, it can be a bit uncomfortable at first for those of us from foreign nations to offer the Korean world our pure albeit blemished, Waygook (foreigner) bodies.

At this point, readers may find themselves feeling awkward on behalf of the Harrington’s, yet have not fear, a grueling hike which was endured during the day and the normalcy with which Koreans view an afternoon or evening at the spa makes the experience quite rewarding. One is given the opportunity to soak in warmth, be steamed like a dumpling and take a laborious relaxing shower with no preoccupation toward…well, anything!

Following this delightful experience which was likely a muscle saver, particularly for Melissa Harrington, the crew found themselves sitting down for an impressive meal of fresh grilled eel, side dishes including silk-worm larvae, a few shots of Soju and the learning of two Korean drinking games (flick the ??? and Titanic). However, the drinking games and fun didn’t stop after dinner, before having the freedom to doze off the Harrington’s alongside their Korean friends played one more drinking game, snacked, chatted and ‘rolled on the floor laughing’ prior to the start of a popular Korean drama which took all parties to their respective sleeping quarters to catch up on Secret Garden and finally doze off into the sleep which had been yearned for since pre-dawn.

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