Nothing spells success like this post... so the first time I hiked up Moaksan, I practically died. I was huffing and puffing all of the way up.. Noxy and I were the last ones up the mountain.. huffing and puffing for a good 30 minutes after we'd reached the summit.. and my ENTIRE body was literally sore for the next 4 days. It hurt to go up stairs, it hurt to touch my muscles.. everything was just painful, not the best of experiences, yet I was so happy to have done it.
This go round.. I was the girl on fire, not to be confused with The Hunger Games :). Vida and I absolutely rocked that mountain, it was such a nice, relaxing, beautiful time! And THIS time, there were many more beauty stops along the way. We found 3 mirrors strategically placed at the different rest stop/gazebo areas. A girls gotta look gooooood, right?! Or as my professor says, no one will save her if she accidentally slips down the side of the mountain while looking mediocre.
The picture below is of a ginormous container of makgeoli (the Korean rice wine).. this is one of 2 about mid-way up the mountain. I don't know how this isn't dangerous for them to do.. but drinking and hiking seems to be the way to go here. It isn't the easiest of hikes either, I would tumble all the way down the mountain if I tried to drink and hike!! 1 point - Koreans.
I hadn't been to a sauna IN Jeonju yet, and neither had Vida, so we headed to Spa Lequa. My goal.. to have a body scrub.. I haven't taken the best care of my skin recently, so it was much needed. It was Vida's first time getting a scrub from an ajumma.. so it was fun to be there during the madness.
Check out this blog post from my first year in Korea to see some of the crazy things that happened my first time getting a Korean scrub at the sauna.
This go round, my lady was wearing a lovely (sarcasm) red matching panty set.. I think Vida's lady was wearing a purple leopard print one.. and then there was another randomly lady having a scrub on the table in between Vida and I. The first thing my lady tries to get me to do is take off my anklets and some of my bracelets (I had already taken off everything I was able to take off without cutting them..), and I of course knew they would do that.. but I body languaged that that wouldn't be possible. It's always quite awkward in these situations, because we never know when the Koreans are really talking about us.. I got the gist every now and then when my lady would talk to the other two Korean workers and then they would look over at me.. and then one time she tugged at my anklets and said "GOLD UH SILBA! GOLD UH SILBA!" then she tugged at my bracelets "GOLD UH SILBA!" .. she is of course doing it in a silly ajumma way, because they can pretty much get away with anything.. and wouldn't you tell people what to do if you were given that sort of power?! So we chuckled together.. and I pointed to my two rings and my nose ring and said "SILBA! haaa" and that was that.
I noticed that they even smack the Korean ladies on the side of the bum when they wanted them to roll over onto their stomachs or vice versa... so it wasn't like they were only doing that to me because I couldn't speak Korean. I still giggle every time they do that.
I would still have to say that the Korean sauna experience is one of the most culturally diverse things that a foreigner could do in Korea... I love the innocence and pure love of it. It's a wonderful place when women can come together, strip down to their birthday suits, not be ashamed (although if you have tattoos/scars/things of that nature I think you're meant to be ashamed.. but times are changing.. slowly), truly understand that everyone was made differently and accept everyone at their most vulnerable.
At one point, it was Vida and I, and these 2 pre-pubescent girls in one of the tubs in an outdoor area.. Vida and I were talking about how if we were their age (about 10-12 years old) and we saw someone who was in their 20s buck naked.. it would probably be like a mouth drop 'omg that's what we're going to look like in 10 years' sort of freaked out thought.. but to them it is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I just can't even fathom it... there is something beautiful about women all being able to come together, saggy boobs and all, to learn from each other. We're all the same, we all go through the same life cycles.. erm, and menstrual cycles.. there is nothing to be afraid of, we need to be proud of who we are, because even though it seems like what is happening to our bodies is sometimes the end of the world.. it's not.. it's the beginning of a new generation!
For example.. I've now learned what I'm probably going to look like stark naked at the age of 95.
Food for thought.
Blog Continued: The 7-11 Man
I piddled around the apartment.. we weren't really planning on meeting again.. however Rehana called.. of course she found another bottle of wine, so off we went to Deokjin park.. It has gotten GORGEOUS! Now, the dead dried lilly pads are back alive and green.. there were lots of people. Plenty of people that stopped and chatted (well tried to) as well. We celebrated Dawn's last Korean Italian meal at Team... then off to sleep I went!!! What a great end to the 3-day weekend!