Sunday, May 13, 2007

Apple Jazz

I joined the Apple Gym when I returned from Hawaii. CH helped me locate and negotiate the fees, and so far I have been happy. Since I only use the running machine (um, that's Konglish for the treadmill) and stationary bicycle, my needs are simple. This place is similarly equipped as our YMCA back in America, although they don't have swimming or basketball (they do have golf, but I don't/can't play that).

One problem is that because of my size, I don't fit even the largest Korean-sized gym clothes. They normally provide and wash your exercise clothes here at health clubs in Korea. In my case, since I only have one set of gym clothes here in Korea, CH advised me to go shopping at Itaewon for some American-sized clothes. Well, I was successful in tracking down the right store - turns out there are quite a few "big and tall" shops there along the main street. But, because of the gym laundry system, I also had to find a way to have my name put on the clothes. I was directed to a small shop located in a side alley, where an old man running a sewing machine embroidered my name six times onto a black strip of cloth (basically making name labels). I had expected this to be some sort of machine with templates for making the letters - WRONG. This guy was amazing - he completely free-handed my name on his machine in just seconds. Obviously he has been doing this for some time.

Here is one other aspect of the Korean health club which is different from my experience in America. Last week I was sick for a few days and didn't go. On the 3rd day of not exercising, I received a call from the health club staff asking me if I was okay, and why had I not come to exercies recently! Also, they must really be worried about my health, because one day the staff lady kept trying to tell me in broken English how important a good diet was for me - if I didn't diet and exercise often, how I would be spending lots of my time in the hospital! Valid points all.

While in Itaewon, I took the opportunity to visit a live jazz club, called "All That Jazz". Had a good time, although the place was pretty crowded. I was lucky and got a seat at a table right up front.

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