Yesterday I went to the hot springs with my school’s headmistress, her husband, and another foreign teacher, Calvin from Wales. People tend to socialize with their coworkers a lot, and questions about an applicant’s marital status and social activities that would never fly on an American job interveiw are important factors in the hiring process here.
I was a little self-conscious when I came out of the dressing room. You know when you put on a bathing suit and you feel like everyone is staring at you? Only this time, everyone really was staring at me! Conversation died. I had to keep reminding myself that the women were looking at my pasty pale skin and lack of a chest, and wishing they looked like me. I’m not kidding. I have a little too much cheekbone and backside to be a model, unfortunately.
The baths are very Roman, full of men discussing business and employees standing ready to bring a robe or a drink. There is a swimming pool, shaped like a ying-yang, with hot water on one side and cold on the other, and one huge stone sphere in either side. There’s also a sauna, tennis courts, massage tables and all kinds of other things you’d find at a spa.
Upstairs from the baths, where I expected to find a grumpy Seneca, is a “resting room,” with recliners, giant TVs and employees to bring you snacks, coffee, beer, blankets and anything else you can think of, as soon as you think of it. I thought about how much Stick would love to chair-coach his Vikings from here, but maybe it’s better that he doesn’t raise his standards. “Baby, could you get me a beer?” is probably the best he can hope for.