48 Hours With Rome’s Family – Part I

    Vic, Hups, Suyen, Yiquan, Munlin, Leeping, our dear korean friends and Rome’s family, these are the people who mark a memorable chapter in my trip. Gosh, everything about the trip keep flashing in my mind. I miss everyone so much! I hope that everyone is safe, happy and warm with their loved one.
    OK, let’s get back to the point. Rome’s family invited us for dinner the Army Club in Ministry of Defense during our stay in Seoul . “Welcome Malaysian Friends”, we were so touched by their sweet thoughtful invitation and hospitality.

    The table was nicely set up before we arrived. We grabbed our seats and we were served by some cute young men who is undergoing their national service in their country.

    The soup was very thick and rich that I have the ‘jelaky’ feeling after that. Look at the beautiful golden hue of my picture. Nice eh?

    The croutons that top this classic salad are wonderful and the very creamy dressing is as good. I love the fact that it is sprinkled with abundance of peanut powder too.

    Escargots taste anything but ordinary. They are tender, and the garlicky snail butter is very good.

    Next up is the succulent, rich, delectable tiger prawn that is done just right to taste. I love the grileed aubergine and zucchini very much!

    This juicy and succulent tenderloin is bursting with flavor. It is complemented by a great sauce that enhances its flavour. Suyen had her virgin taste on steak because she was too shy to push this away in front of Rome’s family. She reckon that this was really good too.

    Great food, great wine and great companion makes a perfect night. It was great catching up with Rome’s dad after the dinner at New Paris 6 months ago.

    After dinner, Rome’s parents brought us on a city tour at night. The neon lights of buildings and street lights all come together to create a beautiful night spectacle. We passed by the blue house, the famous N tower and Han River. Seoul at night is overwhelmingly beautiful and I just keep gasping in the car.
    After city tour, we headed to a Jim Jil bang (family sauna) place. The idea of going there is a bit daunting for us Malaysians (you will know why later). Women are seen with pink coloured outfits and men wear the blue coloured outfits at the common area.

    This is amazing! Pictures and signatures of all the korean actors and actresses who had made their way here occupied the wall before the entrance.

    We went inside the infernally hot rooms called han heung mak. It is a dark cave like stone structure with amethyst stone and a small and narrow opening. We sat on potato sack for a few minutes and we are sweating like a cow. Now I know how the muffins and tarts feel in my oven. The han jeung mak reportedly increases your metabolism as well as helping to relieve shoulder, head and neck pain. It also improves skin quality and loosens stiff muscles. After the 36 Celsius hot room, we entered into a 18 Celsius cold room.

    Finally, our most feared moment has arrived – naked shower time. There are designated shower area for men and women. *Phew*. Koreans have been bathing in public since ages ago and it seems so normal for them. I startled by the sight of naked women walking around the shower area. Finally I gave in and walked into the shower area with my friends. *blushing*. It was a nice experience after all. Ajumas are scrubbing each other from head to toe with a special exfoliating glove. They must be squeaky clean because I can see all the dead skin cells coming off.

    For 5000 won to 10000 won (rm 20 to rm 40), you can go for the sauna and shower, workout at the gym, and even stay overnight here. Suddenly I realize that it is the cheapest form of accomadation, way cheaper than backpackers dorms. On my next visit to Seoul, I shall stay at some Jim Jil Bang place.


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