Over the years I have had many massages, but none as strange as the one I had in Korea.
With my plane arriving late into the city of lights, I just assumed normal business trading hours were 24 hours in this ‘interesting’ city and ventured into this random massage palour at 11.00pm (nothing odd about it at this stage, with the shop front looking quite normal)
Upon entering the massage palour, a woman at reception greeted me with limited English. I showed her with sign language that I wanted a back massage. She nodded and said ‘ok, that will cost you $80 won (Korean currency)’ I said that was too much and as I was about to walk out, she grabbed my arm and said ‘ok, $2 won’ (At this stage I was paying pretty much 99% less then what she originally quoted, warning bells should of rang there and then but I said ‘ok!’)
Next minute, I was directed down stairs to this underground area to change into a bath robe. I was then greeted by another woman who got me to hop into a sack and crawl into this medieval looking oven! I was in there for 10 seconds before I thought I would pass out from the extreme heat so I quickly climbed out and told the woman I only wanted a back massage.
She said ‘ok’ and directed me to this dark room with no windows and told me to go to sleep, by this stage I was freaking out a bit. As I was on my way up to the reception room, two other women grabbed me and undressed me and shoved me into this huge room with 50 other naked women all bathing themselves in brown water and getting water & cream splashed on them on surgical looking trolleys, I thought I had entered some kind of cult group!
Thank goodness I got out of there alive and like I said, that was definitely one of the strangest massage experiences yet!
– Shirlene Lai Allison xo