Sunday, November 25, 2018

Prison Inside Me

Remember my post published on October 14, 2018 about an immersive theatrical, prison-themed cocktail bar in London? 

(If you don’t – kindly go to the link @

Anyway, another establishment has a similar concept. 

This is a prison-themed hotel and it is proving popular among stressed-out South Koreans seeking solitude.

Screengrab of YouTube video, published November 23, 2018 

Autoparts engineer Suk-won Kang, 57, sits in one of the 28 cells at Prison Inside Me, a jail-themed stress-reduction centre. Pic: Matt Kwong/CBC 

Image credit: Webpage

For South Koreans seeking an escape from the everyday grind, a mere 24-hour lockup at this fake prison gives them 'a sense of freedom'. 

Since 2013, the “Prison Inside Me” facility in the mountain town of Hongcheon in Gangwon Province – about two hours northeast of Seoul – has hosted more than 2,000 ‘inmates’, many of them stressed office workers and students seeking relief from South Korea’s demanding work and academic culture. 

Prison rules are strict. No talking with other inmates. No mobile phones or clocks. 

‘Guests’ get a blue prison uniform, a yoga mat, tea set, a pen and notebook. They sleep on the floor. There is a small toilet inside the room, but no mirror. 

The menu includes steamed sweet potato and a banana shake for dinner, and rice porridge for breakfast. 

Co-founder Noh Ji-Hyang said the mock prison was inspired by her husband, a prosecutor who often put in 100-hour work weeks. 

“He said he would rather go into solitary confinement for a week to take a rest and feel better”, she said. “That was the beginning”. 

A downturn in South Korea’s high-tech, export-driven economy have intensified a hyper-competitive school and work environment that experts say adds to a high incidence of stress and suicide. 

South Koreans worked 2,024 hours on average in 2017, the third longest after Mexico and Costa Rica, in a survey of 36 member countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

To help people work less and earn more, the government has raised the minimum wage and cut the legal cap on working hours to 52 per week from 68. But the policies could backfire and put at risk more jobs than they create, economists say.

Noh said some customers are wary of spending 24 or 48 hours in a prison cell, until they try it. 

“After a stay in the prison, people say, ‘This is not a prison, the real prison is where we return to’”, she said. 

I suppose in work-addicted South Korea – that is a vacation! 

In Saturday’s Scottish Premiership game between Celtic and Hamilton Academical, the former played to a comfortable 3-0 win and with this triumph, they moved three points clear at the top. 

The goals came from Ryan Christie (13), Scott Martin (68, own goal) and Leigh Griffiths (82)

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