I am completely naked.
The lighting is harsh and I am not alone.
Other naked ladies, all locals on the island of Oahu and mostly of Korean heritage, surround me.
We nudies are partaking in the beauty ritual of the Korean Day Spa. (This indulgence was a "must do" on my recent trip to Honolulu and I saved it until the very last day, right before our red-eye flight home. I wholeheartedly recommend slipping in a spa appointment before any flight – genius timing.)
But, this spa is not like the cushy, Zen experience of a Western spa. There are no fluffy robes, no private rooms and not a trace of modesty. Although I have already spent a week in this tropical paradise wearing nothing more than a bikini and a trucker hat, which in itself makes you trash any feelings of self-consciousness, being totally naked around other totally naked ladies takes this up a notch. I refuse to let body hang-ups get in the way of having a good time.
I choose my treatment by reading an English description of it, yet I am quite unsure how to begin the first part of this adventure, which is performed on one's own while taking advantage of the spa amenities. The spa concierge commands me into the locker room, which is really just part of the lobby area, tells me to undress completely and then points me to the wet room.
I disrobe and find myself possessing only the key to my locker, which I am instructed to tie into my hair. I am ushered into the "spa" which in spa-talk is like a huge Vichy-room, or in lay terms, an open wet room, this one consisting of a communal shower area, one hot pool, one cold pool, a steam room, a dry sauna and five or six treatment tables nestled under their own shower spouts.
A kind spa-goer notices my bewilderment and tells me to shower first. I step over the wall of showers and am a bit horrified to see one "for-public-use" bar of white soap and two giant pump bottles of a generic body/hair shampoo and conditioner.
"Get over it, don’t judge, just experience it,…Read more...