Archive | February, 2009

Feet eating fish!

25 Feb

Last night Mandy and I stayed with kiwi friends Tom and Lauren who are teaching English in Korea.  We visited Lauren at her English school that brought back a lot of memories for me, being surrounded by cute smiling little kiddies, but I was also glad that I didn’t have to teach them.


After work we went to possibly the most weirdest bar I have been too.  Well it had the weirdest concept for a bar, as I think the club I went to in Colombia would take the cake for weirdest, ieit had naked dancing people, dogs walking around, a naked room in which you could only enter if your naked, geese quakcing around, yeah that was crazy.  OK, I’m rambling.


The bar we went to last night was called Danka Bar. In the bar there is a  fish pond with seats around the perimeter of it. You sit with your feet dangling in the water and fish come up and feast on your dead skin!  It’s quite a funny sensation at first having fish nibbling away at your feet, especially when your a little ticklish and jumpy like myself.  Yes all rather “fishy”, but a unique experience, sitting having a beers with your mates and getting a fish pedicure.


After that we battled it out in a mini street game olympics involving baseball (your in a cage and a baseball machine launches balls at you that you hit and score points from), shooting  and  soccer which involves you kicking a soccer ball as hard as possible and see what score you get, great fun!  Ok, enough blogging, off to the airport, Thailand, here we come.



Korean Bath House Photo Tour

25 Feb

 After my previous post entitled wet naked men, I thought it best I add to this before you think I’m weirdier than I already am.  So I snuck my camera into the bath house where Mandy and I slept the night, wait for it, I was an undercover “Haparazzi” hehe.

So he goes my photo tour of the korean bath house.

The bath house plays a big role in Korean life, they are located everywhere and are usually open 24 hours.  It is a place where you go to relax after work, to get away from the troubles of the day, or an outing for the family or a place for friends to meet, or a place to sleep the night. All for the great price of $8.

The photo below is of the males bath house which contains numerous pools and saunas of varying temperatures and healing properties. Usually it is full of naked men, but I took this photo on a Monday night at 11pm when it was quiet.


After showering and bathing, you then don your styly pyjamas they give you, and can go into the unisex meeting area where you can sleep, talk, read a book, play a video game. In this area there are different types of hot rooms, an internet cafe, TV rooms, singing rooms, smoking rooms, a gym, an indoor pool and a restaurant.


If all this relaxing is too much, then you can go sit down for a beer! (You can see my old apartment building where I use to live in the background).


You can also get stoned. They have various hot rooms with differing kinds of flooring, this particular one had perfect circular heated round stones.


Mandy and some old Korean dude enjoying the massage chairs. NO boys, the chairs do not give happy endings.


If you want to catch up on the latest Korean soap, there are plenty of TV rooms, just pull up some floor space.


When your finished doing all this, you can find your own piece of real estate on the floor and set up camp for the night. Just make sure you don’t set up beside a snorer, as last night I had to unleash a few pillows at the vacuum cleaning whale beside us.


Korean wedding.

24 Feb

What an occasion, 56 friends of Ben and Mia traveled from 12 different countries to attend the wedding in Sang Dong, Bucheon, Korea.


It was a special moment for me personally, as it was through me that Ben and Mia met.  Ben who I met playing soccer at university, after that teaching in Korea and Mia was a fellow co-worker at my Korean English academy. The seed of Ben and Mia was planted when I invited Mia to my apartment for drinks with my mates, and the seed was sowed.snowboarding-5-years-ago-with-ben-and-mia

So it was pretty crazy that 5 years later, we were back in Sang Dong across the road from my old apartment where they had first met and now they were getting married. It was great to be back in my old stomping ground, but I will write another blog post about that soon (if I have time).

It was classic getting ready before the wedding, disorganised was definitely a word to describe it.  trying to organise 20 guys with no cell phones to meet in one place.  This sums it up, 5 of us turned up to the reception area of the wedding hotel wearing no shirts (a late rush to get our shirts ironed saw us getting the hotel linen cleaners to iron our shirts) and one member no shoes (apparently lost in the week long festivities). But we made it bang on time, 5pm sharp, looking darn right handsome.


First of all they had the western wedding which was predominantly spoken in Korean, luckily for Ben he is now completely fluent in Korean so he knew what he was getting himself into.

Following the western ceremony there was a tedious photo ceremony where a very authoritative photographer barked orders like a drill Sargent. It was quite funny when he was shouting at us in Korean and someone shouted out “just do what he’s saying”, haha, the photographer hadn’t quite grasped the concept that foreign looking people don’t speak Korean. Poor Ben and Mia won’t care if they don’t have another photo again.


Following the photo drill, a great spread of food and booze was put on for all.  Then it was time for the Korean ceremony which is usually conducted in a small room and only open to family. But they kindly had it in a large open room so all the foreign visitors could experience it. 


The Korean ceremony was quite entertaining, it involved Ben and Mia sitting on the floor around a table, bowing to family members, drinking some shots, throwing some stones onto a blanket to tell them how many children they were going to have, Ben piggy backing Mia around the table, then his mum, and some more drinking of shots.  Now that’s a wedding ceremony, sounds more like a university drinking game, but I’m sure there is a lot of meaning behind it all.


Then it was onto the after party at the Jazz and Bones club (some of the Korean bar names are rather hilarious, my favorite is bar free beer) that had been hired. A few speeches, and as a tribute to Ben and a cultural experience for the Koreans we performed the haka, much to the delight of the Koreans. The rest of the night was spent making the most of the open microphone and bar. 


 Cheers to Ben and Mia for a great time, and what a great couple!


Wet naked men!

21 Feb

I’m bathing in hot water, surrounded by men, they are naked, they are looking at me. In the corner there is a naked man getting a vigorous massage from another man, he is also naked.  I feel tired, I go to sleep with many men, I wake up, go to roll over, but there is a man there.

No this is not an excerpt from an erotic gay magazine, its how I have spent most of my nights in Korea.  As a cheap accommodation source we have slept at the Jimshilbangs, otherwise known as bath houses.  They are open 24 hours, it’s a place where you go to relax in the hot pools, saunas etc, all located within a high-rise building.   There is a floor for males and another for females with a common middle floor where you meet/sleep etc wearing issued pyjamas.  Despite my introduction, there is nothing seedy about it, there’s even a bit of a family scene, kids sometime splashing around, albeit 4am in the morning on a Tuesday……… ummmm what about school?

innocent little happa

The Jimshilbangs were one of the things that I couldn’t wait to get back amongst, I really missed them when I left Korea 5 years ago.  I remember the first time I went to one, I loved it, although it took a bit of getting use to, being constantly stared at. The Koreans love to stare, and when your the only naked foreigner in a sea of naked Korean men, you get a lot of stares. Just imagine how many stares I get now, as back then I was short haired and clean shaved, now I’m dread locked and tattooed (the 15 months I lived here, I never saw a Korean with dreadlocks, and the only people with tattoos in Korea are the mafia).

Modelling the Excitement Deterring Panties.

PS. Now I’m on the road traveling it is harder to insert photos into the posts as I do not have the time ie I’m in internet cafes, but I will try my hardest. I have added some photos to my previous Singapore post below.