Thursday, 13 August 2009

Love motels

Here in Korea we are getting used to a new form of accomodation: Love motels!!! Before you get too excited: Love motels are a very normal and socially accepted form of accomodation here - even the visitor's center send you there. And many people staying here are just normal tourists. But: They are still love motels and that creates some interesting features.

First of all they have all sorts of interesting names ranging from "Sweet love", "Versace" and "Liebe" (which is German for love and I have no clue why anyone would call a Korean hotel like that). You can easily recognise them from outside as they have a lot of flashy features like neon signs, baroque architecture or tacky wall paintings. They all have sight-protected parking areas so that your neighbour does not find out what you do in your free time. Privacy continues at check-in: The "reception" is a tiny hole in the wall, so that you can not see the receptionist - and vice versa. But if 2 Western cyclists show up, the receptionist immediately comes out of his or her cubby hole to talk business. Depending on the quality of the love hotel the reception area is anything from ultra modern flash design to incredibly tacky posters of naked Cupids, Venuses and roses. It is absolutely acceptable to have look at the room first. The flashy ones even have neon posters outside with pictures to choose from and in the crappy ones you just go and have a look. And by the way: You can usually rent videos and DVD's of all sorts in the reception as well...

The room itself can be anything from a real dive with tacky posters on the wall to cover the dirt underneath to high tech establishments - all depending on the price. Right now we stay in a room with the following features: Huge bed (you would not have expected that, would you?), AC and fan, mood lighting (yes, you can turn on dim red light!), hot and cold water dispenser, fridge, UV-light sterilizer for cups and glasses (I have never seen that before), a huge flat plasma TV screen with DVD player and loudspeaker boxes, telephone, hairdryer, all sorts of body lotions and perfume, free energy drinks and free condoms. But best of all: The room has 2 (two!!!) computers with internet access! So you can sit in your love motel room and send emails to each other?! I don't know, but I really appreciate it because John and me can now eventually update blogs and send emails as long as we like! And what does all that luxury cost? 40,000 Won (about 25 EUR)!!!

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