Saturday, September 27, 2008

On the way to the tanning bed...

Every weekend I walk to the Green Turtle Salon to tan. I enjoy the walk, mainly because of the people watching. Here are a few of the food-related sites I see every time. (Note: I'm only tanning for an upcoming vacation to Hawaii!)

The non-touristy Itaewon sign. (All the tourists take photos of the Itaewon arch.)
Vendors prepare everything from iced coffee to hot tea from these carts. The vendor often sets up shop in the middle of the crowded sidewalk. The drinks are served in small paper cups. I'm not sure of the cost or sanitation of these products.
The vendors are always eating something. Usually an ajumma from a nearby restaurant will deliver food trays to the street-side vendors. This guy is always selling produce a few blocks from Starbucks. Everything always looks so colorful and fresh.
How does this ajumma balance the food trays on her head? Sometimes I see this woman crossing the busy street or making her way through the weekend crowds - - without using her hands! I love how she wears her kitchen apron out on the street, a definite no-no according to American food sanitation rules.
Trash piles are ubiquitous, while garbage cans are not. Phew...I've finally made it to my destination! This intersection is the busiest in Itaewon; I call it the "hub." Over the years, American eateries have taken over this building. However, don't be misled: though American by name, the atmosphere and the foods are distinctly Korean (more on that topic later).


Tia said...

I enjoyed this little reminescence of our walks down Itaewon St. Mandy. I loved how it was so close to where you lived.

MandyKat said...

Thanks, Mom! I was wondering if the sights would look familiar. I'm glad you enjoyed it here. Your timing was perfect. It's cold now!

Gypsy Cossack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gypsy Cossack said...

hi! i am just wondering how the tanning salon was in terms of quality. i visited one in gangnam and got no results whatsoever as the bulbs must have been weak. do you have contact info for this place or is it just a drop in service?
thanks a lot!!!

MandyKat said...

Gypsy Cossack -
This place was okay. I have tanned one other time (in the U.S.). In comparison, this place was too expensive (12,000-15,000 W for a 25 min. bed. They did not offer decent tanning lotions. The ones they had were VERY expensive. I could not find a good tanning lotion on the economy. The bed was clearly the old-fashioned kind. I only needed a 10 min. session in the U.S. for results. The bulbs needed replacement, and the tan was slightly uneven. I looked darker but as much as I wanted. I tan easily so I expected more. Maybe going 2 or 3 times per week would have been better, but I didn't want to spend THAT much. I also did not have confidence that the bed was cleaned properly between visits. At least it was never busy.
So...overall, if you are desperate and can afford it, give it a try. It did do something, but not much. You'd probably need to go several times per week.
Just drop in - if you know Itaewon, it's directly across the street from the Hamilton Hotel. You can see the building in the picture. Walk up the stairs to the fourth floor. (The third floor is for massage and mani/pedis.)
Let me know what you think!