The US edition of GQ carries a long article on something which we don't seem to have in the UK. 48 hours living in Wi Spa, Koreatown is the diary of Joel Breuklander, who spends two days in what seems to be a massive hotel in the Korean quarter of Los Angeles. And, before you start thinking as to whether it is possible to spend 48 hours in this particular sauna, the answer seems to be yes.
It is a beautifully-written and evocative travelogue; one can almost picture Alan Whicker doing an hour-long piece on this on BBC2 in the 1970s. Here is one of the many choice paragraphs:
Weirdly, it's not long after this that it finally happens. Five minutes of absolute bliss—nirvana. I feel… not joyful, exactly, just good, supremely unbothered, even unbotherable. Like my anxiety has been set to "off." I'm calm but engaged, unfearful. Nirvana ends when I wonder if I feel peace because I'm about to die. My tacos were extremely salty. I need to hydrate. And if death is a possibility, I want dessert first.
Perhaps such "come and go" spas were de rigeur once, in market towns across the UK like Cheltenham, Tenbury Wells, and Woodhall. But, because we're a country of a rather unique short-sightedness, all of these spas have closed, and many have been demolished. Even if they were open, they might have a more utilitarian approach anyway, rather than the more luxuriant, relaxed nature of Wi Spa.