Saturday, 25 May 2019

Spending weekend locked up in the prison is the new way of South Korean citizen to pamper themselves


IllustrationIllustration - For most people, prison is a gloomy or creepy place. For South Koreans who need a break from the demands of routine, staying overnight in prison is a new way of pampering themselves. "This prison gives me a sense of freedom" said Park Hye-ri, a 28-year-old office worker who paid USD 90 to spend 24 hours locked down in a prison.

Since 2013, the Hotel Prison Inside Me in northeast Hongcheon has accommodated more than 2,000 "inmate guests". Most of the guests are students to workers who feel stressed out with problems they have.

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Even though it is a hotel, the rules are similar to prisons. Fellow guests are forbid to speak, wear watches to carry cellphones. Guests are asked to wear a blue prison uniform. They were given sleeping pads in the form of yoga rugs, tea sets, pens and notebooks. All guests sleep on the floor. There is a small toilet in the room, but there is no mirror.

Steamed sweet potato for diner, banana milkshake for lunch and rice porridge for breakfast. One of the founders of this hotel, Noh Ji-Hyang, said this fake prison was inspired by her husband, a prosecutor who often worked for 100 hours a week. "He said he would rather go to solitary confinement for a week to rest and feel better" he said. "That's the beginning of the idea of this fake prison hotel."

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South Korean workers work on an average of 2,024 hours throughout 2017, which is the longest working hours after Mexico and Costa Rica, in a survey of 36 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


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