Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

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Korean Culture miniclass: the 목욕탕

Since I just came back from the manliest place in all of Korea, I thought I’d write you guys up a short piece to explain what’s up with it. Hopefully, I’ll be writing more of these short items covering small cultural things every now and then.

“So, what is a 목욕탕 (mokjoktang)” you might be wondering.
Well…imagine your bathroom.
Now imagine it’s 20 times as big, instead of one tub there’s three giant ones, instead of one shower there’s dozens and instead of just you using it, it’s dozens of naked Korean dudes. That’s basically a 목욕탕.
Now imagine 3+ stories built around this idea and you’ve got yourself a 찜질방 (jimjilbang).

t22

[Okay so usually it doesn’t look as clean as this but this is the general idea]

목욕탕s are the manliest place there is.
Basically you just go there, get rid of all those pesky clothes and do whatever the fuck you want.
You can sit around in a (always uncomfortably hot, because forcing your body to deal with it is MANLY AS HELL) bath, take a one hour shower, go for a little swim in an ice cold bath (because forcing your body to deal with it is MANLY AS HELL), scratch your butt while laying on the divider between two baths (yes, some dude was doing this today) while watching baseball, read a plasticized newspaper while soaking in some green tea water or go out of the bathing area, sit your naked ass down on a sofa and watch some terrible drama on KBS and no one even gives a shit.

t23

[Ask your bro to scrub you down, or pay a dude that could be your grandpa to do it for you; why not!?]

Obviously it’s a bit of a weird experience for foreigners since:
1. We generally don’t have public baths in our countries
2. The public baths here are full of naked Koreans
3. Most of those naked Koreans are either way skinnier than you, or uncomfortably fat
4. All of them are staring at you because you’re white
5. And sometimes they’re not even trying to hide that they’re staring at what’s between your legs
Because yeah, what you heard about Korean men is true (Sorry ladies, I know you secretly wished your G Dragon and Hyun Bin would be loaded down there but…fat chance) and that leads to some hilarious…shall we say…cultural exchanges?
Unfortunately I can’t see shit without my glasses so I’ve probably missed dozens of instances of these things, but there has been this one time when an old guy walked by me super slowly while I was showering and even though I wasn’t wearing my glasses I could still see his head slowly turning as he walked by, keeping his eyes firmly rooted on my private parts.
Another time a young dude seriously walked up to me outside of the bathing room as I was drying off, stared at my junk for a while, extended a thumb and said ‘Very Good!’ before walking away casually.
Uh…yeah..

However, apart from those curiosities a visit to the 목욕탕 is incredibly relaxing and comfortable. You pay 5,000 won (about 4 euros) and you can stay as long as you want. In the case of a 찜질방 you pay a little bit more and you can literally stay as long as you want, even sleeping there, using the larger sauna rooms, rec rooms, exercise rooms and even gaming and karaoke rooms. Of course you’ll be sleeping on the floor using an actual block of wood as a pillow but beggars can’t be choosers, can they?

[To Koreans, this looks like a perfectly valid way to spend the night]

[To Koreans, this looks like a perfectly valid way to spend the night]

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This entry was posted on 2 July 2015 by in Korea and tagged , , , , , , .

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Are you hyped for the #WinterOlympics yet?
Because the Korean government would really, really like you to be #hype!

I've never really been into the Olympics, except for that one time when the guy who was born in the same town I lived in (#GianniRomme) was raking in Gold Medals like it was one of those coin pusher games - and even then it was mostly because my school was making a big deal out of it.
As such, I'm not very interested in the Winter Olympics either, even though this is the first time I'd be able to attend the events myself and watch my country's athletes get burried in speed skating medals.

Still, I hope Korea will put on a show - and a performance - to be remembered for years to come.

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#Olympics #Olympic #Korea #Seoul #Lotte #Departmentstore #SooHorang #Christmas #decoration #decorations #shopwindow #shop #pyeongchang2018 #pyeongchang #평창 #평창2018 #올림픽 #겨울 #수호랑 #스타크래프트 is love #Starcraft is life.

Being a Starcraft fan in Korea feels a lot like what I'd imagine being a rich acquaintance of Ronaldo would feel like for a football fan - you get front row seats to all the major games, get to meet legends like Messi, Robben or Buffon (in our case, Byun, SoO or Stats) and get to ask for their signature pretty much whenever you want - all without paying a single penny.

The professional scene has been taking hit after hit since I started getting interested in it, and I'm afraid it'll never be the same as it once was, but I'm glad that in 2018, as well, I'll be able to enjoy some of the best e-Sports the world has to offer.

#WingsOfLiberty down, #HeartOfTheSwarm and #LegacyOfTheVoid to go.

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#스타2 #스타크래프트2 #Starcraft2 #Byun #TY #Maru #INnoVation #esports #gaming #progamer #Korean #Korea #e스포츠 #진에어 #진에어그린윙스 #SKT1 #Dark #collection #collector #PC #RTS #변현우 #이신형 #전태양 #조성주 처음 한국에서 @kim.minji.ki204 가 그린 책을 발견할 때부터 (그 #책 읽을 수 없어도, ㅎㅎ) 한 순간엔 큰 #팬 되었고 작년 #서울일러스트레이션페어 에서 직접 만날 수 있어서 너무 즐거웠다.

이제 인스타로 새 책을 받을 수 있는 이벤트가 있어서 당연히 참여해야지~

#kimminji #thejunglebook #정글북 #정글북리그램이벤트 #indigo 한국에서 역사랑 현대 항상 어떤 이상한 발렌스로 공존한다.

In Korea, the past and the present are always living together in some sort of awkward balance.
Traditional norms, values and traditions clash with the influence of a rapidly modernizing and developing society; pride in one's roots compete with a constant need to move forward, and historical buildings vie for room to breathe in the middle of a metropolis.
I hope Korea manages to move forward without forgetting the things that make it unique.

__________________________

#대한민국 #한국 #절 #불교 #봉은사 #역사 #현대 #발렌스 #서울 #Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #Buddhist #history #present #balance #City #koreantemple #development #Metropolis #tranquility #modernization This is such an #unoriginal picture but..doesn't it look just like a #postcard?

#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Namsan #NamsanTower #City #Road #Traffic #Korean #mountain #trees #green #NSeoulTower #Tower #서울 #도시 #남산 #남산탑 #산 #탑 #도로 #엽서 #그림엽서 #남산타워 On some nights, when I'm feeling all beat down by stress and worries about whether or not I'll be able to support myself over here or where my life is heading, and when I'm just drunk enough, when I see the second snow of the year coming down outside my window, I just can't help but go outside, play some music and dance in the snow like an idiot because for some reason it just reminds me of how much I love being in this country.
Fuck you, Korea. I love you.
.
.
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#secondsnow #firstsnow #둘째눈 #첫눈 #Seoul #서울 #snow #눈 #Korea #SouthKorea #Korean #Life #Street #KyungHeeUniversity #KyungHee #경희 #경희대 #dongdaemoon #동대문구 #이문동 #winter #겨울 #atmosphere #분위기 #reallylongsentence
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