Let's start at the beginning. It's in a building on a busy corner near the building where we live. There's not much more than a sign that says "Massage" and "2F" (second floor) on the outside of the building to clue you in on where the place is located.
Sure, I'll go in this random building up this little staircase in hopes of finding a good massage....
I took this picture from the front door of the place while I was waiting on someone to come to the front desk to help me.
The lady immediately handed me a book that had a page written in English, and I pointed to which service I'd like. I chose the 50,000 won (around $50 U.S.) massage for the shoulders, arms, neck, and feet. She led me back to change into some shorts and a shirt and to lock my things up. Then, I met her at the massage table.
Once I laid on my back on the table (shorts stayed on for the entire massage but she did pull my shirt off and cover me with a blanket), she had me scoot down towards the end of the table (talk about feeling like you're at your annual gyno appointment...), and I was surprised when she lifted my feet and placed them in a tub of warm water that continued heating up as time went on. It had jets going and everything! So picture this....I'm flat on my back and my legs are bent downward from the knees down in a water bath. Weird position. I felt like I was getting a pedicure and a massage at the same time!
Interesting thing to note: See how bright it is in the above picture? That's how it was the entire massage. There was no dimming the lights to make it a more calm place. Instead, she laid a towel over my eyes to block out the light. And then, get this... There was no curtain or door or anything separating me from anyone who wanted to walk by. I mean, I could've had a
When she finished massaging my top half, she took my feet out of the foot bath and went to town on those puppies. The foot massage was my favorite out of all of it! I even enjoyed her bending my legs inwards so my feet were basically touching and she stood on top of the bottom of my feet to put more direct pressure into them. Amazing!
When all was said and done, she sat me up and had me pull my shirt on. Little did I know, she let go of the blanket as I was doing that so I might've shown a little American skin. Oops. Oh well. I figure that since they don't tip in Korea, she could take that memory home instead of tip money and share it over kimchi with her family. Great...whatever.
After putting my clothes on, she made me sit on a stool next to the massage bed and gave me a glass of orange juice. Then she proceeded to stand there until I drank it all. :)
As I was putting my shoes on by the front door where I had left them over an hour before, she pointed to her toes and told me, in her best English which wasn't much but was good enough because I got the picture, that she painted her own toes and the fancy schmancy designs on them. She told me it was 40,000 won (near $40), I'm guessing in case I ever wanted her to do that for me. :)
She was a sweet lady, it was a nice, clean place, and the massage was really good. I won't be going back to pay her $40 for some designs on my toes, but I will be going back for her massage skills....and maybe even just to have her stand on my feet again. :)