Namsan Tower, Seoul
The other day I walked into my classroom a little before 9am. Angelina and John are always the first ones there and they get there before me. I greeted them good morning when John looked at me in complete fear like a deer in headlights. John is really smart and picks things up really quickly. He understands that when the phone rings I don’t pick it up because the person on the other end is speaking Korean and I don’t speak Korean. A lot of the other kids insist on constantly telling me the phone is ringing as if I don’t hear it in the middle of the room. I said, “John, why do you look so scared?” He looked at me with his little face and eyes so wide and said, “speaking Korean.”
I think my face looked the same when I went to get my first Thai massage. Now, massage places are everywhere it’s just some are the places you want to go to and others you don't. Some give, let’s say, “happy endings.” So, for me it was just a matter of finding the right one. Pretty much all you have to do is look up at the buildings to find what you want here. That’s when I saw: 태 국 마 사 지 (tae guk ma-sa-ji). Sound it out and… success! I walked in and asked the girl for a massage. I expected her to have me make some kind of appointment, but she had me pay and said ＂follow me.＂ She showed me where I could change my clothes and had me put on this outfit that looked like scrubs with a t-shirt and shorts and then I went back out and waited. She offered me a drink and then after a few minutes introduced me to this little Korean lady. The other girl spoke some English so she told me if I needed anything to just yell for her and she would help me.
So, I first sat in this chair and the lady washed my feet then she took me back to this room that had 2 Korean style beds on the floor, which are really just mats. She asked me if I wanted it “strong or a little strong” I told her a little strong, luckily because OUCH! She started on my legs and at first I thought she was going to break them! She was able to get a few English words out and asked where I was from. That’s when she said, “why your body not like American, it like Korean?” I get that a lot here, I suppose for good reason.
Well, luckily the massage only started out really painful and then turned out to be really awesome. It was an hour and a half and she did a lot of stretching, massaging, pushing and pulling. She definitely didn’t get paid nearly enough for all the work she did. Well, my first Korean Thai massage was an overall success and I left feeling great!