Last night Anna, Annie, Janet and I all went to a jjimjilbang together. A jjimjilbang is a segregated public bath, which you can read more about here if you are curious, but suffice to say that it FANTASTIC. Here are the details:
When we first arrived, we paid our 10,000 won and then received our super stylish brown and baggy jjimjilbang clothes and 2 lovely orange face-sized towels each. We checked our shoes first in a tiny little shoe locker, and were given a key on a plastic bracelet, which opened a bigger locker in the women's bath area where we could stow clothes and purses and such. Just like you're supposed to do at the YMCA (but I never do oops), we showered off first before hitting the awesome baths!
They had shallow pools of all different temps, ranging from 38 to 25 degrees celsius. One bath even had little lounge chairs with water jets built in to the bottom of the pool. When we got bored of that, we could visit the two saunas, either the super hot dry one which make out faces burn and my lungs feel like I was breathing the hot air around a fire, or the super humid one, which was like standing inside a giant cloud. Both were hard to stay in for very long. The hot one made my lungs burn, the other was humid it almost felt suffocating. But it felt great to go in for around 30 seconds and come out. I felt a little bad since every time we went to a pool, the Korean women vacated it after a few minutes, or some cases, like 30 seconds. I'm not really sure if it was because they felt awkward because a foreigner was there, or because we were too loud or what. Truthfully, we were kind of the only ones talking, but it would have been a little dull and awkward to us to just sit around in complete silence, so we might have been too noisy. We sat around a chatted and played Contact (you can learn to play it here) until we were throughly pruny, then went and donned our jjimjilbang uniforms and wore some towels hats using the traditional sheep/rams horn/ princess leia fold. I researched how to make them before coming :-)
Of course, since it was a public bath, I have no pictures, but here is a still from a drama that illustrates the towel hat, if you're curious:
Their outfits are way cuter than ours were
Anyway, I would highly recommend the experience! There aren't really many in the U.S., but I have heard that there is one in the Philly area, so if you're dying to try it out, have a look!
Classes went well today as well. Yellow class was especially fun. For review of what has happened in the last pages we have read in their current book, the lesson plan sometimes has us ask true/false questions to check comprehension. My yellow class started a tradition with their last teacher, Anna, that they would make one funny face to mean "true" and another to mean "false," and it is super fun, so I do it too. Today I suggested one raised eyebrow as the face to make when they thought the answer was true, and they thought it was hilarious. Jack, the one boy in that class gave it a try and it was one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. It was half creeper man/half sauve guy and I just about lost it. Then Susan, one of two girls, said "Ooh Jack, so sexy!" and I just died. So funny.
My Phonics 2 class went better than usual today too. For the first time in a while, Haram had his homework finished and was able to focus a little better as well. We were also able to do an objects labeling activity out of the classroom in the kitchen today, and I think all the kids really enjoyed that. I am worried now that Sungyeon isn't getting enough attention, because she is a little lowe level as well, though definitely better than Haram and more hardworking to. I've had to give Haram so much attention that I'm afraid she's been sliding a little. Today she seemed to be having a little bit of a hard time. Tomorrow I want to make she is tracking as well.
After class I came home and Yoonsang challenged me to a game of chess, which I don't really know the rules for, and totally stink at. Needless to say, he was going easy on me, and we didn't quite finish game, but were pretty even toward the end. But now I think I'd like to try playing again sometime, since he taught me the rules and I have a better idea of which moves are good ideas and which are disastrous.
Tomorrow is cooking activity day...we will be making pancakes with all the classes, which should be a grand and messy adventure.
Thanks for reading!