My first foray into the charms of the jimjibang came a mere fortnight ago during my first trip to Busan. This it turns out was an inspired decision because I happened to chance upon the biggest Jimjibang on the Asian subcontinent. Circumnavigating the building for around half an hour, partly through fear and partly through not being able to find the entrance, I finally emerge into the complex. Is this the right place ? I ask myself. I appear to have arrived in an Austrian/German beer Keller. There is something rather disconcerting about seeing hundreds of Orientals adorned in lederhosen and serving steins of imported beer. The name of the place escapes my soju , saturated mind right now but was certainly of Austrian descent. The clues were there in advance but I missed them, possibly through fear.Anyway, back to the story. I walk through the Germanic complex and take the elevator to the second level. Here, there is a gender division and I am beckoned to the male section. Leaving my shoes at the door, I am given a locker key. Eventually I find my locker and remove my clothes. My mind is cast back to those awful high school days when there was an untold rush back to the showers so that nobody would see your pathetic childlike member. God help us if Wayne Nicholas was in there first with his enormous , hairy man thing.
It turns out that my fears are unfounded and in actual fact I am like the John Holmes of the changing rooms. Consequently, I positively stride through the changing rooms with a confident air that is alien to me. Upon a more profound inspection I decide that I am average but for one moment I am king of the penis world. In fact I am so carried away by my wave of phallic euphoria that I miss the jimjibang entrance and end up in the toilets. I am retrieved by a janitor, who casually examines my wares before directing me to the spa complex.
The next 2 hrs are spent wandering this enormous , glass domed complex, whilst dipping my body in pool, sauna, spa and bar both inside and out on the roof. I start to think, fuck it I'll pay a quid for the pyjamas and stay all night (perfectly feasible). when a guy of Afro Carribean origin crosses my path and totally steals my 15 mins of penis glory. I double take, quickly change direction and head for the changing room. Within 10 minutes I am on the tube, Changwon bound -tail firmly between legs.