Monday, November 10, 2008

Dr Fish

This is one of the stories I've been meaning to share with you for a while. It is not a uniquely Korean experience, from what I have read, but a memorable one nonetheless!

A few weeks ago we went to Gumi - a slightly larger town nearby - to watch a movie. After the movie (Body of Lies: very gory and not the most imagniative story line) we went for a walk down the main shopping street. Gumi's centre has a lovely stylish almost Europen sort of atmosphere: lots of intersting shops, boutiques, restaurants and pubs. I even found the Body Shop, although it is unfortunately horendously expensive :( BUT here;s what this post is all about: Dr Fish. What a find!
Dr Fish is an experience to rememeber! There is a lovely coffee shop which serves all varieties of teas, coffess, ice creams and breads, delicious, and they offer the 'Dr Fish' experience!

They have tanks/baths sunk into the floor where you can sit and dangle your feet in: and surprise surprise a whole shoal of obliging little fishies come running, errr swimming, to eat all the dead skin cells off your legs!! What an incredible experience. Initially it is actually terribly ticklish and tingly but I loved the attention of course and quickly got used to it! The fish are soo cute and just so eager! They can't seem to get ebnough of nibbling at your skin. Jules unfortunately did not get used to it: he held out for a minute or two but it wasn't his cup of tea! (Photo evidence!)

Well, as you can imagine I had lots of questions about the fish, and there ws an info brochure but alas, except for the latin names of the fish, the rest was in Korean. The names mentioned were Garra rufa and Oreochromis niloticus (Nile Tilapia). For those ichthyologically inclined, you will of course wonder about the Tilapia...I've looked it up and there doesn't seem to be any reference to it feeding on human skin so that must be a mistake. But Garra rufa is a species of fish which was first found to feed on human skin cells in natural hot springs in Turkey. Very interesting!
Anyway, so that was Dr Fish, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience which I really enjoyed, thanks fishies for the scrub! And thanks James and Barbara for the introduction!

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