Jillian R.
Ahh, Sunday. Another tour around the city.

Boy, I sure have lots to tell today. I thought I've seen it all, but like I've said before, new surprises come up every day.

We had an early start today, instead of heading out in the afternoon like last week, we were out the door by 11am.

The first stop was "Guam Farm Stay"

Our tour guide; although a very very nice woman, couldn't speak English very well, so no one could really tell us what was going on. Furthermore, all the signs were in Korean. So being the only two foreigners there we were left to our own devices.

The "poo-ey" water which Eric wanted to throw me into; the water WASN'T poo-ey, we were just kidding, by the way

Sometimes I don't know what to do with this man!

The farm was really beautiful

All jokes aside, I thought it would be fun to visit a real farm. I've always wanted to see how it is like on a real farm, see how the farmers go about their daily lives. Not only my expectation of the place not met, even slightly, but I was very wrong. There was really nothing there but some hay baskets, a couple of metal hoops and bits and pieces of wood work here and there.

Then we saw a few dogs cruelly tied on very short leashes

Seeing the dogs made me feel incredibly sad.

I had some trouble getting the standing swing to er, swing;

So I thought sitting on it made more sense.

Next up, Gatbawi;
I thought hiking up the 2-something km trail wouldn't be much of a challenge since I used to hike every day back in high school. A few minutes into the hike I knew I was grossly out of shape. Grossly.
(Lost my original picture without backup, this picture is from http://koreatravelpost.blogspot.com)
The granite statue was impressive

I made a mistake of going to the bathroom. It was literally a hole in the wall, with a hole (literally, hole) in the ground to pee in. I almost didn't go, but I'm never one to hold my pee if not extremely necessary. Oh, the hole in the ground is nothing new.

On the way down, we passed stacks of little rocks on the side of the path. Koreans believe that if they stack a pile of rocks and they don't fall, their wish would be granted.

So we made our own stacks.

See the hundreds of stacks behind my head?

Now, here is the interesting part about this week's trip. Believe me, you'd want to read till the end.

I've mentioned
last week that I didn't enter the spa because I didn't bring my bathroom slippers - and they don't provide it there. So this week, I came prepared. I had my toiletries and my trusty bathroom slippers; but I was still in for a surprise. What happened next was probably the scariest experience of my life. Okay, maybe the second; after the skin biopsy I had six months ago.

So I enter the public bath full of naked women. It was crowded.

As I was taking a shower, a glob of hair floated past me inches from my feet. I thanked the good God that I was wearing my slippers, otherwise I might've had a heart attack, and fallen down on it (
the hair) *shudders*. I pushed my phobia away from the surface and went into the hot tub - filled with women of all sizes, wearing only their birthday suit of course, and so was I.

I noticed people were staring at me - which I found out why later. Read on.

I know it's a different culture altogether where I come from, or rather, the society I know does not dictate that people scrub each other; with parts
touching one another. What gave me the heebie-jeebies was that they er, don't "groom"...if you know what I mean. I tried very hard not to look. I tried looking for a comfortable spot on the ceiling to rest my eyes, but then everywhere around me, were bushes....and then more scrubbing; the whole time, I repeated in my head "Jillian, look up at the ceiling, Jillian look up!"

Seconds later I sensed that someone was behind me, I turned around and a woman was trying to get into the tub, her "
stuff" almost touching MY back! I got up so fast and was lucky I didn't slip and fall. All around me, people were sitting on little stools on the floor, no slippers, having wet hair just float around them, oh and there were several young kids with their moms.

And no, this is not one bit like the dressing room at the gym. At the gym, people don't prance around or sit on wet floors.

I left.

Oh, by the way, people were staring at me because I am "groomed" - as any normal person would be. I found out later that in Korea, having a big fluffy one is regarded as highly attractive. People even do
transplants. Go figure.

No more public baths for me, ever. At least not in Korea.
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