Salt lamp dealer has positivity to spareHave you noticed a lot of negativity in the air lately, and wondered who’s to blame?
Well, don’t blame Kim Jong-il and his nuclear brinksmanship. And don’t blame George W. Bush and his anti-Pyeongyang chimpsmanship.
Blame Yun Ji-young, a 25-year-old woman from Daegu. Ms. Yun recently opened a shop in Itaewon where she sells those funky, glowing salt rock lamps that are all over the place nowadays. The ones you see in bars, beauty shops, banks, wherever.
Those lamps, if you didn’t know, are said to have remarkable therapeutic effects, and work by filling the air with negativity ― that is, they emit negative ions.
Curious, I visited Ms. Yun to ask her exactly how the lights help you avoid bad things like cancer, depression and dust bunnies. Thirty minutes later, I left illuminated, Ms. Yun having clearly and thoroughly explained the phenomenon. I’m pretty sure that I understand how the lamps work.
But ― sorry ― I’m not going to describe the process to you, lampless reader, because whenever we otherwise omniscient and infallible newspaper guys try to explain some kind of new or esoteric thing, we invariably get it wrong. So if you want the science behind Ms. Yun’s salt lamps (which, by the way, come from salt mines in the Pakistani Himalayas), you’ll need to visit her store yourself. It’s on the east end of the main drag, a few doors west of the big stairs that go up to the Itaewonland sauna.
But a word or two of caution. Ms. Yun is a veritable bundle of mental energy and vivacity. Whether this is due to the salt lamps or not, I don’t know. But she can talk your ear off, in Korean or English. Though not a native English speaker, she can speak the language better, faster and more articulately than you. Especially faster.
Though only 25, Ms. Yun has had a long and interesting path. After graduating from college (as a tourism major) in Daegu, she applied for a program placing college grads in internships in the United States. Expecting work at a hotel in Las Vegas, she was instead placed in a McDonald’s in Wisconsin.
Back in Korea a year later, her ambitions demanded that she live in Seoul, not Daegu, and she fibbed a bit to her mother to do so. Then, according to her explanation, which went by me at, like, 70 miles an hour, she applied for work at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon, then got shunted into some kind of Web design school, then got picked up by the city of Seoul to work a ceramics exhibition in Icheon, then got placed in the Itaewon tourism help center, then started learning therapeutic massage, then got interested in other holistic healing techniques, then heard about the salt lamps, then opened the shop (check out her cool and informative Web site at healingsaltlamp.com).
If you’re wondering why I haven’t quoted Ms. Yun directly, it’s because I’m only allotted 500 words and she has way more. Don’t worry, though. Her lamps notwithstanding, she’s 100-percent positive.
by Mike Ferrin