Paging Dr. Fish. Dr. Fish, you’re needed in the OR. Paging Dr. Fish.
Yes, Dr. Fish. Today, I have the privilege of writing about one of the strangest things I’ve done in Korea, so far. What is Dr. Fish? Well, let me explain slowly, so as to build tension.
I heard of Dr. Fish from many different places: the internets, friends, Koreans. Up until Friday night, however, Dr. Fish remained a rumor. Apparently, Dr. Fish is an import from Thailand but has become popular throughout Asia. The Dr. Fish I went to is in a cafe in Gangnam. Gangnam, by the way, is the ritzy part of Seoul where the rich hipsters hang out. Anyway, at the cafe, we had to buy a drink first (I had sweet potato cocoa, which was delicious) before we could be doctored by Dr. Fish.
The first step involves washing your feet, demonstrated here by Olliver.
Can you see the Dr. Fish in the background? Have you guessed what’s going to happen yet?
Once you’ve washed your feet, you’re ready to go. Just stick your feet into the pool of fish, sit back, and relax.
Ah, yes. Don’t we look so relaxed?
What I haven’t told you is THE FISH ARE EATING THE DEAD SKIN CELLS OFF OUR FEET. Yes, that’s right, these special Dr. Fish survive by consuming stinking, rotting, foot flesh.
Now, normally, I would be very reluctant to show a picture of my feet. But to prove I’m not making this up:
Yes, those fish are continuously gnawing my feet to scrape dead skin cells into their corpulent fish stomachs. And they never get full. I wish I could accurately describe how it felt. It doesn’t hurt at all, but people with ticklish feet will find it very difficult to keep their feet submerged. It feels like a bunch of tiny baby fingers softly pinching your feet at the same time. In a way, it’s almost like a faint electrical pulse if you close your eyes. It’s sufficient to say the sensation is very strange, and anyone visiting Korea should definitely get a checkup from Dr. Fish. By the way, I like to say “Dr. Fish” as if it were a name, not “doctor fish” as if ‘doctor’ were an adjective.
It should be noted that I have no idea if this actually helps your feet. Is there really a need to exfoliate your feet? I don’t know. Is it supposed to get rid of foot odor? I don’t know. Don’t ask.
What I do know is that these Dr. Fish look like they’re wearing lip stick.