Bare Naked Ladies: My NY Korean Spa Adventure

Here is another repost from my old blog.  This one is a real gem! (Note: I will say that about all of them.)  The pictures attached are not from the spa I went to…THAT one has been shut down. Go figure.

Most people who read this already know I love to try new things..anything just once.  So…I have a love for Korean Spas.  I have no problem with or aversion to other cultures and totally embrace what anyone does.  Hence;  I will sit in a scalding hot pool with 5 naked 65 yr old Korean ladies, not one of them speaking English and have a perfectly good time…

Now on to the the story.

I was itching to hit a 24 hour spa here in New York City and since there is Korea Town, I knew there would be quite a few gems to choose from.  I found three within walking distance from my hotel…and how did I go about choosing a spa? The cheapest one!  That’s how I roll.  The one I picked had a lot of reviews, most of them not so good.  They said the people were rude, pushy, begged for a tip over the recommended 20%, the place was nasty, dirty, peeling paint and was located in a dungeon.  Not entirely accurate but the comparison was closer than the wig tape on Beyonce’s head.  Dosen’t’ matter.  Im undanted.

I walk in the spa at 11:30 pm. Yea, it’s late, but I worked late and this is the only time I have.  Have we forgotten it IS 24 Hours??  Anyway…So far so good.  I follow the signs and go down 4 flights of stairs and it DOES get darker as I go.  But I notice the minuscule sign saying ‘SPA’ so I keep going.  Finally, I get to the bottom.  Everything looks “good”.  The people looked a little afraid of me when I walked in but I’m use to that.  A 6ft black chick is like a unicorn in some places.  So, I smile and ask for the “Special Package”, but first, they give me a little tour.  The diminutive lady points as we walk, ”Hot”, ”Cold”. ”Sauna”, ”Steam”, ”Pool-No go broke”.  It did look a bit shiesty but I still said, “No more tour. Lets get started”!!

Because I was new, they made me pay first.  Fine!  I like that.  I can leave whenever I want.  The counter guy then said very demanding, ”It mandatory thirty dollar tip”.  The whole package was $100 total, which means 20% , a $20 tip.  (Now I get what the reviewers were talking about.)  I said, “I have $25 for a tip and if that’s not good, I’ll go home.”  Lo and behold he took it.  Big Surirpse.  Anyway, the woman takes me in a tiny dressing room.  ‘Tiny’ meaning…I could stand in the middle and touch all walls AND there was another naked lady in there.  I asked her what she thought about the place and she said it was the tops, but can a girl with a large tattoo on her face really be trusted?

I get undressed and put on the robe…a robe that would have been long had I been 5’3″, don my flip flops that could only fit a 7 year old and head to the shower.  My scrubber lady who is dressed in her “uniform” – black lace bra and white granny panties, grabs my arm and says “shower’.  As I shower, she stands next to me soaping up my wash cloth and handing it to me.  The ‘shower room’ is the massage room, the body scrub room, the whirlpool and another defunct steam room.

After ‘we’ finished showering.  She takes my arm and leads me to the steam room.  ” Steam” she says.  She sets me up and jets off.  I lay there, get a real good steam going and here she comes again.  “Come”, she says.

We go back to the shower room and she instructs me to lay down naked and wet on a soping wet vinyl covered table.  That mess was slippery!  I had to grab the sides to not slip off the opposite side.  She takes a bucket of scalding hot water and “WHOOSH” dumps it on me about three times.  Now, Im a drowned rat. Then she pulls out her mitts and begins to scrub.  WOW!  I have been scrubbed many times before but this lady was going for DNA!  She had only worked on me for 5 minutes when she said. “Feel! Too much skin!”  She had rubbed off so much dead skin, it was in rolls, I felt like a nasty, dirty, grit-covered skank.

She asked me about 40 times during the process, “You K, You K?”.  The only time I felt not so “K” was when she put my leg on her shoulder to scrub the inside of my other leg.  Yea…I know she’s seen it all, so I ain’t got nothin’ impressive for her to see.  The process was like this – Scrub, scrub, soap, scrub, water dump, repeat…all over…face, neck, chest (yes, she held my boob in her hand as she scrubbed my torso) underarms, everything.

After she washed all the grit, skin and soap off of me.  She led me to the dry sauna, handed me a towel and said, “dry”. I went in and laid down.  Now, THIS was relaxing.  I did notice a few pairs of underwear and a bra hanging on a line in the dry sauna, but ya know what??  I’m not gonna be snooty about it.

After about 10 minutes, she gets me and we go back to the Shower Room.  She points for me to lay on the now dry vinyl table, wraps my hair in a towel and puts a small face towel over my crotch area (probably for discretion. HA.)  Then asks if I like cucumber.  I said, “yes”, but had no idea why.  She begins to wash my face so fast I thought she may whisk the hairs off my chin.  After she wipes the soap away with a wet towel hot enough to boil an egg, she starts to put ground up chunks of cucumber all over my face!  I almost burst into laughter but unfortunately I was too busy gasping for air since my entire face, eyes, mouth and nose was covered with cucumber.

Then she proceeded to dump gallons of baby oil all over me and rub it in.  I think this was the massage but it felt more like a baby oil rub down.  Once she finished with my front she scooped all of the cucumber off of my face, wiped it down with another scalding towel and commanded me to turn over.  The baby oil process began again.  This time she put another sun-type temperature hot towel on my back and jumped on my back.  This was more of the massage.  At one point she had her hands on my shoulders and her knees in my butt.  Yes..her entire weight was on me.  Why do people think just because I’m tall I’m not a sensitive flower?  She kept saying. “Tension yikes, Tight yikes”.  I was thinking, “you tap dancing on my back, Yikes!”  When that part was over, she suds me up again. This time with a concoction of oil and curdled milk.  After this entire show, THAT may have been the oddest thing to me.

When she finished, I stood up and she held the shower attachment and did a jail house hose down on me. She started at my face and kept yelling, “Turn”.

When I felt my skin I was in AWE!  I feel so light and fresh.  Like a newborn baby!  That lady did me up so right I tipped her some more.  She thanked me profusely and hugged me.  Yup…she hugged me and I am still wet and naked.  But the scrubber lady and I have been though so much by now I bowed to her and said, “your welcome” .

It was 2:10 am when I walked out the door of Spadiam into the New York rain. And ya know what?

I may go back…