There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath,The Bell Jar
I have found a magical place on this planet we call earth.
It’s located in the Asian district of Tacoma. South Tacoma Way. Tucked in a little corner.
It’s an Asian style bathhouse. Where women flock to relax. And mingle. And be pampered.
And be naked.
That’s right. You heard what I said. NAKED. Birthday suit. No clothes. Everything hangin’ out. Good God, you say? Yes. He is.
Let me describe the experience for you. You walk up to the front door and have it opened for you by a security guard who is quiet and polite but who looks like he could kick someones ass with some appropriate jiu jitsu moves. He does not let men even look in this general direction. He smiles and shakes his finger at them. I’d be scared if I were them.
You enter the lobby which is warm and inviting.
You pay your 30 dollars and the lady hands you your warm to the touch towel and robe and chenille hair-holder-back thingy. Then this lovely small Korean lady who is wearing nothing but a thin house robe (exactly like the one you are holding) comes and shows you where you are to put your shoes. You are given a locker key with a number on it and then whisked away to the locker room, after a brief tour of the facilities in broken english.
It is here, in the locker room, where you de-clothe yourself. Even though it usually slightly uncomfortable for women in the United States to be naked in front of strangers, I found it quite easy and natural. I was with my straight-from-the-eastern-block friend, Nika, who proceeds to tell me they have “one of these bathhouses on every corner in the Ukraine.” Like Starbucks. She also strips down to a smile with ease and comfort-ability. Another reason I love hanging out with this girl. She’s European. This is normal for her.
We then spend the next 2 hours going from lovely slice of heaven to the next.
First we had the whirlpool section.
Now this is the place where the women are naked. (In the picture, you see a clothed person. Not so in real life.) The rest of the spa you have to wear your very thin robe. There are 5 different of these pools, all different temperatures.
And then we have the mugwort. Which made me giggle. Mugwort? Reallly? Wasn’t that in a movie with wizards and flying brooms? Anyways, I digress.
The mugwort apparently helps open up the pores and detoxify the body. It is especially beneficial to women. You stand next to this trough and pour the warm lovely tea-like liquid all over your body.
Then we have the heat rooms. Those were my favorite I think.
You lay there in silence. On warmth. Cocooned in warmth. Heavenly warmth.
When you have satiated yourself enough with all these luxuries and have had your fill, you can take a shower and get ready to face the real world once more. We entered the spa that day stressed, crabby, and tense. We left relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed, and smelling 10 times better than when we entered. (They have delightful smelling lotions galore for you to slather up with after you shower. Yum.)
Lordy, just talking about this place makes me yearn for another visit. I shall have to assess my funds and see if I can’t go again this week. I sense a habit soon to form.
Interested in experiencing this for yourself? Check out the website!