I don't know if it is a fault, I think most Americans are this way, we like our privacy, our individual space, we like to be left alone. I am extremely that way. I am a private person. It is nearly impossible to live that way in Korea.
I joined a gym today. I did this so that I will have something to do in the evenings. So after work I went to my new gym. What I wanted to do was put my ipod on, run on the tread mill and space out but it didn't work out like that.
When I arrived, I saw that one of my Korean co-workers was also there. I told him that I had joined this afternoon and he had went and joined too. A work out buddy! A woman trainer greeted me on the way in and she used my Korean co-worker to translate. She told me all about the gym. Now honestly, these were my thoughts: I've been to a gym before, let me work out in peace. Before I knew what was happening her and another man were pulling me to a scale, measuring my body fat, hooking me up to a computer to see my muscle mass and vital signs. I was dumbstruck. So much for my space out time.
I am a fat flipping old guy now and when the computer spit out my health chart, she giggled, telling me that I needed to loose 14 Kg. I didn't need a computer to tell me I'm a fat ass. So after that station, she pulled me to a stretching chart and we did stretching together. Then we were carted off to the bike where she set the timer and speed for us and pushed my back in so I would sit up straight. I'm not going to fight it. What's the use, I'm part of the collective. When the bike timer went off she whisked me off to the tread mill and, same as before, set all the settings for me. When I had jogged for a good half hour, she took me over to a strange vibrating machine. I stood on and it just vibrated my guts out for five minutes. I could feel every fat roll on my back jiggling. It was amazing.
Off to the showers.
I'm not a shower in public sort of guy. Here in Korea people bathe together for fun. So I'm in the locker room with my co-worker and I know I am being awkward but I have to pretend I am cool being naked in a locker room full of young buff Koreans who I know are staring at me. I know they've never seen a guy with red pubic hair. A guy comes up to me half naked and sticks out his hand. "Hello, nice to meet you," he says. I shake his hand. I shower and get dressed. When I am leaving a young guy follows me out and says the same thing, "Hello, nice to meet you." His name was Jahoon. I have to remember that for tomorrow when I see him again.
I prefer to be a loner, but you know, the alternative isn't that bad. I love the Korean people.