Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pedicures in Daegu: Biggest Disappointment Ever

Note: this post contains lots of girly details so if you're male and weak skip this post. :)

Rainy days and months of winter boots make this girl eager for a pedicure. Despite my utter fear of feet, I actually enjoy pedicures because of the whole shiatsu chair/leg and foot massage/exfoliation that goes into it. In Lexington, I pay about $25-30 for a pedicure. They are always great and I consistently leave feeling thoroughly pampered. There's nothing like sticking your hooves into a warm bath of water after a long week or just for the heck of it. So, after a pretty nasty winter we felt we deserved to treat ourself. So we set out to find a pedicure place in Daegu and relax a bit.

There's not exactly a dearth of nail shops in the city and there's one street downtown (one alley over from Lazy Diner, away from Cell Phone Street) that hosts about 10 such shops. We peered through the windows hoping to spot a shop with nice pedicure chairs while we froze in the Daegu winter temps. We looked into a few places and all of the prices seemed roughly the same. So we chose a particular shop that seemed decently trafficked and sat down in the 2 chairs in the rear of the shop.

Interior view of the shop from the chairs in the back. The guy on the bench kept saying he had to "go pee" every time we asked him a question. We are certain he was making out with his girlfriend (pictured next to him) in the back of the shop. I know this due to the unusual amount of sparkles around his mouth. After I inquired about this he promptly got up, declared his need to urinate, and walked out of the shop.
The baths underneath the chairs looked less-than-clean (I know, Mom, onycomycosis) but we had already committed. The price they quoted was 23,000 won. 20 bucks for a pedicure isn't bad but isn't exactly cheap, as everything else seems to be in Korea. I handed over the nail polish I brought (so I can do my own touch-ups and come on, it's so much more sanitary). Then they kind of rinsed my feet off then proceeded to remove my old nail polish. No soaking in a lovely warm bath. Then the nail girl did some trimming and jumped right into painting. My friend and I were both shocked and disappointed. NO massage!? NO scraping off all the dry skin!? This isn't a pedicure! I could've done it at home for free!

This highly unflattering but appropriate picture is my "I don't wanna pay 23,000 won for this crap!" face.
The girls at the shop then insisted we purchase 3,000 won flip flops (we were sporting Ugg-esque boots that night) as to not ruin the polish. We reluctantly acquiesced as we didn't want to ruin the most expensive color change we'd ever had. We kind of overstayed our welcome in the shop waiting for our polish to dry and, frankly, because we didn't want to enter the frigid air in flip flops. After about 30 or so minutes of drying we sighed and gathered our things to head out into the cold. All night we bitched about the unfortunate 26,000 won we seemingly wasted on what was supposed to be a relaxing and wonderful experience.

Shannon before we headed out into the frightful weather. Note the flip flops!
If anyone can tell me where one can get a real pedicure in Daegu please, please, please let me know! Otherwise, I would generally steer clear of pedicures here for fear of supreme disappointment.


  1. hahaha his ex gf BUT there were sparkles alll around his mouth. Gosh, I was laughing out loud while reading this post.

  2. (I think I found you on Waygook...)

    But...if you haven't found a real pedicure place yet check out Homeplus or another big shopping center. I know the nail salon in HomePlus here in Changwon has real pedicures. So does the nail salon at City 7.

  3. Love your blog. My husband and I were stationed in Korea many years ago. Nice to see good changes. Other things remain the same. Love the sink shower!!!