Christopher Dean

Last weekend my girlfriend and I travelled to Busan. Our mission was to spend the whole day in the worlds biggest department store: Shinsegae Centum City.
This behemoth of a building has fourteen floors, a subway station, a three story driving range, two food courts, an art gallery, a restaurant district, an ice skating rink, a three story luxury spa, a sky park, a learning academy, a book store and of course ten floors of shopping!
Shinsegae is a well established chain of department stores in South Korea; not to disimilar to Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser. I got dragged round the shops for a good while. Kate criticizing Korean fashion at every opportunity! I enjoyed browsing the book store as it had a good sized English section. I tried to coerce Kate into reading some classic novels but she was more interested in the Gossip Girl section! The ice rink was an interesting experience. I remember ice skating when I was 14 and I also remember being pretyy damn good at it. I went once with scouts and was an Apollo Anton-Ohno in the making. Sixteen years of growth has changed my skill set. It has also changed my point of centre of gravity. I didn’t fall over, but to say I was any good would be a horrendous lie that would cause my nose to grow about ten feet.
I didn’t get round to the golf unfortunately but we did spend three hours in Spaland. I was quite tired anyway but all the relaxing I was about to indulge in nearly sent me into a coma. We visited virtually every kind of sauna (Roman, Turkish, Salt etc…..), went to the outdoor thermal foot spa, got beaten up by the electric massage chairs, had a stretch in the stretching/yoga room (Kate taught me how to do the hula hoop), chilled out in an amazing room where you get a chaise long affair with a TV built in and finally went into the baths. The bath area has six or seven massive pools with various temperatures from cold to virtually scalding. They all have some kind of mineral element that relaxes you or is beneficial to your skin. The bath areas are not unisex like the rest of the spa. Although you are given a special t-shirt and shorts uniform on entry you have to go naked into the baths. Obviously, this is standard practice in Korea but less so for scared, confused westerners like me! Thankfully it was very late and quiet on Sunday evening so no one seemed that bothered by the random caucasian in the baths. After three hours of maximum relaxing we headed for the subway and the coach back to Changwon. Twele hours after we entered the department store…..


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