OK, this is a bit of a stretch, but as a writer, we sometimes take liberties. What does a day at a Korean spa have to do with writing?
Don't know about you, but sitting in front of a computer all day makes me tense. When I'm tense, I have to fight for inspiration. So, when my niece got a special coupon to use at a Korean spa, I gave in and agreed to go. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, I told myself. Now, this is the niece who has no inhibitions and loved hanging out at Hippie Hollow near Austin. That's a nude beach on a lake.
But, my brain was fried and in a weak moment, I envisioned a wonderful day of pampering and relaxation. She did warn me that there would be nudity, but only in protected areas. Coed areas required suits. So, I stuffed my extra large granny bathing suite in a bag and hopped in her jeep. Besides, I loved Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes and her "Tawanda!" attitude.
We entered a large building with a pair of gigantic ceramic lions on either side of the doors. The place seemed very crowded, but there is a water park for children attached. I was reassured to see several non-Korean customers scattered around. Some with children. I'm feeling more reassured.
Removing our shoes, we picked up our bracelets with locker key and a disc that can be scanned when you purchase something. Food, extra services or drinks. There is a list of massages, facials, manicures and such posted with outrageous prices. All I'm interested in is the swim up bar.
Then, horror of horrors, we are in the women's locker room. No turning back. I'm surrounded by naked women in all shapes, sizes and ages. We are required to shower before entering the room holding several hot tub pools. I don't know where to look. Boobs everywhere and nothing, I mean nothing is covered. None of us have on anything but a small towel clutched to our fronts and the bracelet.
Head down and hands holding a tiny orange towel, I plunged into a variety of boiling hot pools, then showered. Again. I gratefully stuffed myself into my bathing suit and joined a crowd of people in another set of pools with water jettisoned out of pipes that bubbled, fizzed or pounded down on you. One power jet shot me clear across the pool.
We grabbed lunch, then it was back in the locker room with naked ladies, We shower. Again. Now it's time to don baggy t-shirts and shorts. We're ready to silently meditate in several little domed ovens (sauna rooms) that look like Hobbit houses. I last about two minutes. It was hot in there and you had to sit on the floor. I prayed I could get up again and not have to crawl out. This is the only area that allows cell phones and I didn't want to see myself on YouTube.
At last, I see rows of easy chairs for those exhausted from all the "pampering." I tried to nap but a Korean lady somewhere behind me talked non-stop. There is another restaurant and a counter where some industrious clients are using their laptops. Hey, I'm thinking this might be a good place to work. When I get tired or blocked, I can just whip off the clothes and jump in a heated herbal pool. Or, maybe not.
I did get less twitchy about being naked. Nobody cared and there were worse bodies than mine. I am usually a very modest person so this was a huge challenge. Still, I'm not getting any younger why not try something new.
So, I came home refreshed, beaten, boiled and extremely clean. After that experience, working on my historical should be a piece of cake. Who knows, I could use it in a book. Tawanda!