I recently discovered an Asian-style bath house just outside the city. It is called Spa World and Mayumi and I went there last night. We stripped down in the locker room with dozens of other women and headed to the shower stalls to sudsy up. We washed each other's hair and got ourselves squeaky clean before heading into the various hot tubs. I was worried because most of the tubs were too hot for children, but they had one little tub specifically for kids that was kept at about 79 degrees. Mayumi loved it. She made friends with a five year-old Korean girl and they just talked and splashed around for about an hour while I enjoyed the jet massage and hot tub.
Besides loving the hydro-therapy, I loved that Mayumi was being exposed to women's bodies of every size, shape, age and color as if it were the most natural thing in the world (because it is!). Some of my American friends have worried that they would feel to self-conscious in such a setting, but for me it is the complete opposite; I feel so comfortable and un-concerned about my body. I am reminded of what "normal" is and that those unattainable bodies that we are bombarded with on TV, magazines, and other media are not necessarily what we should be striving for as women. The public bath house is such a beautiful, peaceful place and I was so happy to share the experience with my daughter.
After our bath we got dressed and enjoyed dinner in the spa's restaurant. Once we had leisurely eaten, we headed back to the bath for round 2. We left around 8pm and Mayumi immediately fell asleep on the ride home. It was the perfect way to spend an evening. I kind of want to do this more often, so... if you're ever in the area and want to join us, we'd love an excuse to go back!