Fri 21 Oct 2005
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“Hey Jo, you want to go to the bathhouse with me?” Jo nodded enthusiastically at my mother and grinned.
” I have been waiting for you to ask me to go!” My Mother looks at me and silently wills me to say yes to the bathhouse trip. She has been trying to get me to go for a while now. I haven’t been avoiding it really just that sometimes with Mom’s critical eye and bluntness it can be intimidating. I sigh and nod my consent to go, and she smiles.
I used to love the Korean bathhouses when we lived there, and they were fun and relaxing places to go to get clean. Back then most of the houses did not have a bath with running hot water therefore everyone met at the bath house. I guess my trepidation came when I hit my teens and the dreaded locker room change for P.E. I think it did not bother me to change until I noticed that the other girls tried in every diabolical way to hid themselves while changing. Unfortunately I picked up the body conscious habit and thoughts…You can see where this is going can’t you?
You see in the Korean bathhouse men and women are separated into their own bathing areas. Usually both sides are equal in amenities. In general there is a row of showers, a row of faucets with small handheld shower handles situated lower down so you may sit down, dry and wet saunas, and then the different temperature pools. More fancier places will have different herbal pools, mud pools, algae pools etc. etc. There is also a heated floor where you can rest, read sleep, or watch TV. Some places have restaurants inside to serve food. It is quite a relaxing time, to sit with same sex friends and family members, and sometimes even strangers. Well anyways back to my story.
The day arrives and we pay the man at the front desk, well actually Mom pays with her bath tickets she usually gets every year on the birthday or Christmas. So we are given our keys attached to a rubber ring to place somewhere on your naked self since it is your only resource to your clothes. We are given three small towels, and a robe. We gather up these items plus the bucket with our shampoos and conditioners and of course the scrubby. I cannot live without the scrubby. It is a long piece of fabric that is very coarse, little kids scream in fear of it, but it sure does get the grime out. We also have one that is mitten sized. You actually place in over your hand and scrub like the dickens. Well back to the story.
We walk into the womenâ€™s side of the bathhouse. We must take our shoes off before we enter the formal lock room. Entering the lock room…The only thought was, ” I see naked people…Please make it stop” Ok not really, and I did not see many nude people because I was too busy searching for my locker! Finally! So post haste all of us are miraculously whisked out of our street clothes into our robes. Off we go to the baths! (You did not think that I would post all the gory details did you! This is a clean blog! Get your mind out of the gutter because we three women don’t belong there! Hmmpph!)
In this bath house there was the showers and the faucets with the hand held shower thingies, and the wet and dry saunas, and the ice cold freeze yer buns off cold water bath, the boil you up like a lobster bath, and the bath that could be a little hotter, but the one most people preferred. There was also a little alcove where you can pay a woman to use the scrubby of death to clean all, the dead skin off of you, which I love but here in the states the price is too high.
First things first, you undress, and stuff all things you want dry into a cubbyhole. Then you rinse off or do a quick soap up and rinse then choose the pool of your choice. We chose the popular one, the one that could be a few degrees higher in my opinion. I wasn’t yet ready for the lobster boil. It was really nice to sit and enjoy the bath, and talk to Jo and my Mother. Sorry you cannot get or buy the transcript of the conversation we had. Nyah Nyah Pbbbhhtt!
Now it was time for follow the leader. My mother being the lead chose her favourite thing at the bathhouse, the Steam sauna (this is where the scary music plays.). They place herbs in hot rocks and splash water onto the hot rocks to produce copious amounts of steam with a slight herbal flavour. This is also the worst torturous thing for me. I hate the wet sauna. It always makes me feel like I have hot irons in my nose and my lips are melting. But alas it is follow the leader and I follow into the mist of herbal hell.
I was smart I brought in a bucket with cold water to wet my towel and cover my face, but even then the little steamy herbal hands of torturous heat scratched at my mouth and nose. Ok so like my Mom and Jo took the heat better than I, but I had a legitimate excuse. I…I…was allergic…Yeah That’s it! I was having allergy attacks and I couldn’t breath in the steam… BAH! Ok I sucked I left after 8 minutes, Jo left 30 seconds after me, and Mom left because all of us were outside gasping and pouring ice cold freeze yer bun off water to cool down. Now that was the longest we ok I stayed in the steaming sauna of death. For my Mother dragged us back in there again and again. Each time we went into the jaws of hell I sprang out of there sooner and sooner.
Well anyways I have other things to do, and talking about the steam sauna has made me hungry and my lips want to mutiny. You will have to catch the next installment later…
The Bath Nazi, boiling lobsters, and how long have we been here….
Oh yeah and the people wanting pictures…What are you thinking! (Give yourself a slap on the head)
Sorry for the long delay in writing. My life is crazy at this point in time.
Sun 9 Oct 2005
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I have been tagged! What if I can’t run after someone fast enough to tag them? What now? *Cry* *Whimper* LOL OK I finally wrote this out. Wow I know you so have been waiting such a long time! ; P: D Ok Jo at TRULY THANKFUL tagged me and finally here are the results.
Rule for this meme are:
1. Delve into your blog archive,
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to),
3. Find the 5th sentence (or closest to),
4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions,
5. Tag FIVE people to do the same.
Clare’s blog, EAT STUFF also says that you should make a comment regarding that 5th sentence.
The fifth sentence is… (Drum roll please)
Now usually we have a place we like to eat lunch at under some trees in a parking lot, and I convinced DH that we had to eat there today.
There is a small parking lot between the old NCO Club (Non Commissioned Officers Club), and the motor pool where a whole bunch of camouflaged vehicles are behind a fence topped with some concertina wire. The place we like to eat is under a medium sized pine tree over looking a small field behind the run down NCO club (no longer in use). DH and I take our sandwiches and sit in the car with the windows rolled down, and eat a nice quiet lunch away from other foragers of food. Well, except for the four legged, and the winged variety we are left alone to contemplate our sandwiches and life.
The parking lot is usually really quiet and the smell from the pine tree, the eucalyptus tree, and some very large unknown fragrant tree (It smells really nice, kind of sweet, herbal, and citrusy) blows in the gentle breeze, as small furry squirrels dart from tree to burrow, and back again. The birds chirp, and twitter and all that chirpy twittering bird things that they do, and once in awhile I get horribly excited by the birds. The reason usually (get your mind out of the gutter) for the excitement is that I saw a bird I haven’t seen in while or one I don’t recognize, but somehow here it is, and I lament that I did not bring my camera. The parking lot under the pine shade tree is a little bit of “heaven” where time stops for a hour or more so I can have a nice relaxing time with my husband, and watch the birds twitter and the squirrels scramble, and talk to my partner in life.
The person I tag is Scary Shari at Meandering Missive and Rachel at Rustic Fillings and anyone else who wants to participate nominate yourself and TAG YOU’RE IT!!! Also if the persons who were tagged by me were already tagged or do not want to do the meme then I don’t mind!
Check out Scary Shari at Meandering Missive new post on some delicious foods!
The childhood meme is still in the works.
Tue 4 Oct 2005
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I have wanted to take a Korean language class for years now, and finally the reality has come true. I signed up at my â€œlocalâ€ community college for an evening class. I was so excited that I did not know what to do with myself.
Well Tuesday night rolled around, and Dh and I decided to grab a very unhealthy but fast meal at Mc, Dâ€™s. Now usually we have a place we like to eat lunch at under some trees in a parking lot, and I convinced DH that we had to eat there today. He seemed a little agitated, but agreed.
The sun was getting ready to slide into bed, and I had almost finished my lunch when DH was jumping the gun. What is his problem it is only 4:25pm, my class doesnâ€™t start till 6:00pm we have some time! But I got my husband to wait till 4:30pm before whisking me to class.
â€œMan, you are so going to be late for your class!â€ DH looked at the dreadful traffic we were stuck behind.
â€œWhat do you mean late. Its only 4:35pm and my class did not start till 6:00! It will probably only take a half hour the most 45 minutes to get through this traffic.â€ Dh looks at me strangely.
â€œIt isnâ€™t 4:35 pm! The clock in the car is off by an hour. You are the only one that changes the clock in the cars.â€ I had to mentally process this information.
â€œWhat! I am going to be late for class! You mean to tell me this is why you were hurrying me up for dinner?â€ I felt so dumb. DH starts to laugh. I give him the evil look, which makes him laugh harder.
DH plans to move the car to a strategic parking spot where no one wants to park because you have to walk more than 30 feet to get to your classes. Iâ€™m in a foul mood because it is already 6:10pm by the time we reached the campus. DH pities me and drops me off near my class.
I run like there is a bear chasing me. Up the ramp and then slow my progress down so I can slink into the class like a snake, and quiet as a mouse. So the door gets stuck and I make my loud entrance. Several students smile knowing I am late and reveling in it because they werenâ€™t the last ones in class.
Oh how dreadful the only seat available is in the back row in the middle of the class. Oh kill me now! So I slunk quietly as a moose in a china shop, and sat down. I was surprised to see that the teacher was male. I thought my teacher was female. Oh well I mean I should have not assumed since we were only given last names of our professors.
We were doing vowel exercises. The differences in the pronunciation of the letter A. Hmmâ€¦I can already tell I am having trouble distinguishing some of the A sounds, but this is the first day of class so no biggie. The class was large, and everyone seemed friendly. We were broken up into partners to practice differentiating the different sounds of A.
My partner was a pretty student named L. We practiced or let me rephrase that. We tried to practice, and we failed at figuring out what was the difference between two of the A sounds. They sounded so alike that we decided to wait for the teacher to come by and help. In the mean time we decided to find out more about our partner.
. â€œSo, what made you decide to take this language?â€
â€œIt was my first language as a child but I canâ€™t speak it now.â€ L smiled beatifically. â€œSame here! I canâ€™t speak it now either. So who in your familyâ€¦â€ I knew the question she wanted to ask. â€œMy mother is Korean.â€ L looked strangely at meâ€ “Ok, then how about your father?â€ â€œOh dad is Norwegian and Swedish.â€ I had been asked this a lot of times so it was automatic the responses I gave. L looked even more puzzled. â€œOk then who is Vietnamese in your family?â€
â€œUm huh? Repeat that again?â€
â€œWho is Vietnamese in your family?â€
â€œNo one is Vietnamese. What class is this? This is Korean Class right?â€ I couldnâ€™t breath.
â€œNo, it is Vietnamese class.â€ I started to pack my backpack I had worms slithering in my stomach,
â€œPlease donâ€™t leave stay for the class! Youâ€™re my partner!â€ I felt horrible, but gave her a fare well, and made the long march out of class. Yeah I heard some sniggers but I ignored them,
Ahh fresh air! I ran to the information booth. Ok I must have gone to the wrong classroom. I flipped frantically through the class schedule. Oh NO! My class was on Monday and Wednesday, and not on Tuesdays and Thursdays. ARGHHHH! To make it worse, I left my cell phone and wallet in DH’s car therefore I could not call him to get me. So I made the long trudge to the library to tell him my tale of woe, when a miracle happened. There was my husband making his way to the library! YAY at least one thing went right that day!
Don’t you dare snigger, or laugh at me! Oh I caught you! *wink* I can laugh about it now, and I laughed as I told DH what happened. I have finally attended the right class on Wed…
I did another blog personality test. Why do we like these tests? Anyways it is short and sweet, so take it already!
Check out RUSTIC FILLINGS she has another blog quiz.
I took the Blogging Personality Quiz at About Web logs and I am…
The Daily Grinder
I love blogging because it’s like therapy. I can write about anything and everything that happens to me – from the food I ate to what I was doing when I heard the latest ‘breaking news’. Being able to communicate with my friends (online and/or real life) through my blog is important to me.