Doctor fish (2)With the concrete floors fully set, we got to work on the interior walls and ceilings – generally either irritating (from stuffing fibreglass everywhere) or heavy (lifting 15 kg dry wall sheets onto the second floor balcony), or both. Four days and several thousand staples and screws later we’d done the majority of the rooms, and the place was starting to look like a finished house instead of a work-in-progress. The most difficult part, doing the ceiling of the two-storey main living room, was still to come – but it wasn’t going to be my job; I had other fish to fry. Or, as it happened, feed (read on).

Doctor fish (1)As I was heading out to Japan for a couple of weeks to see my parents and brother (who were going there on holiday), I finished my working week a day early and wandered into Seoul to run a few errands with Amy (who usually has Fridays off). We found a place to get her laptop fixed, checked out her subway advertisement and finished our outing at a spa cafe in Gangnam (featuring doctor fish, which is why we were there). The cafe, as well as the usual range of drinks and cakes (including free waffles!), has a few small troughs containing maybe two hundred hungry “doctor fish” (reddish log sucker; Garra rufa) who swim about peacefully and wait for someone to stick his or her feet within nibbling range. Once an extremity is placed in the water, the fish dash over and begin to eat the dead skin – this feels rather like being jabbed repeatedly with a cotton bud tipped with sandpaper. After the treatment, your feet are a bit smoother – we went in the afternoon, and I imagine that in the morning they’re pretty feisty after a food-less night and so might exfoliate as well. We went home to Yongin for some birthday pad thai (Amy’s birthday wasn’t actually on Friday, but it was the closest evening I’d see her due to going off to Japan), chocolate pear flan, some early presents (Amy having to solve a devious puzzle to discover where I’d hidden mine) plus the usual film (and drinks) with Anne and Dan.

Amy and her entourage went out to a day spa on Saturday, leaving me a few hours to chill out before getting the bus down to Busan. The journey went pleasantly quickly, as Amy (in an overwhelming act of generosity) had lent me her PSP and I was soon engrossed in matching gems in Puzzle Quest.