A public bathhouse that became a shelter for tropical nights… Residents of a small room town go to escape the heat

A heat wave warning was issued in Jung-gu, Seoul at 9:00 pm on the 29th. The sun had set, but the outdoor temperature was 27 degrees and the humidity reached 70%, making it feel like a steam room. At the same time, in a public bathhouse near Seoul Station, three residents of a nearby village were escaping from the heat by blowing on the air conditioner. This is a ‘shelter from the night heat’ designated by the city of Seoul for a limited time from July to August so that residents of Jjokbang Village can escape the tropical nights. introduced for the first time this year. You can take a bath and sleep in a cool sleeping room by paying a free pass given out every 메이저놀이터day at the welfare facility in Jjokbang Village. About 10 copies are distributed per person per month.On that night, the residents of the jjokbang village, who met at the bathhouse, asked each other how they were doing, such as “It’s been a while” and “How are you doing in the heat?” while soaking in the cold bath. “Today is my 10th visit,” said a man in his 50s who has been living alone at a gosiwon in nearby Cheongpa-dong for four years. Bae (60), who lives in Jjokbangchon in Huam-dong, said, “Last summer, I used an air-conditioned shelter in the heat, but this year, it’s even better because I can use a public bath.”However, it seems that the ‘night heat shelter’ is not well known to the residents of the jjokbang village. On this day, only 8 residents of the jjokbang village used the public bathhouse from 8:00 pm, when it started operating at night, to 6:00 am the next day. There were 6 regular guests. The public bath receives 15,000 won per night per resident from the city of Seoul. The general guest fee is 20,000 won. The income earned by the bathhouse that night was 240,000 won. The owner of a public bathhouse that operates a facility of 500 pyeong overnight has no choice but to suffer a loss.Mr. Jeongmo (79), the owner of the public bathhouse, said, “Since the corona, the number of customers has decreased significantly and we have not been able to open at night, but the Seoul Metropolitan Government requested that there be no other public bathhouse near Seoul Station to take care of night shelters, so we opened 24 hours from this month.” did. He said, “It started with the good intention of helping the residents of the lodging village suffering from the heat, but I am worried that the labor cost of two newly hired night part-time workers, air conditioner electricity bill, and boiler fee will cost 10 million won more than the usual operating cost per month. This is a lot,” he said. Although they receive bath fees, it is difficult to cover the additional labor and operating expenses. Jangmo (58), a public bathhouse employee, said, “I originally went to work at 6:00 am, but I have to come out at 2:30 am every day to clean the bath that received guests at night.” Aren’t you passing it on?”There are a total of three shelters from the night heat in downtown Seoul. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, from the 1st to the 26th, a total of 230 residents of the nearby jjokbang village used the public bathhouse in front of Seoul Station, only 8.8 per day. The number of users of the two public bathhouses used by residents of Yeongdeungpo and Jongno neighborhoods was 104 (4 per day) and 78 (3), respectively. This means that out of the 2,400 residents of the jjokbang village in downtown Seoul, only 15 to 16 people use 3 a day.Regarding this, a Seoul city official said, “We decided to pay at least 800 bathhouses near Seoul Station and at least 400 to 600 bathhouses in Yeongdeungpo and Jongno bathhouses, even if there are no residents of the small town, so that bathhouses that participated in good faith do not lose money.” In the case of public baths near Seoul Station, at least 12 million won is guaranteed. The official said, “We will conduct an on-site inspection and inform more residents of the lodging village so that they can use shelters from the heat at night.”Attempts to use private bathhouses or saunas as shelters from heat waves or severe cold have been promoted by several local governments. In 2018, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul entered into an agreement with a jjimjilbang in the jurisdiction to designate a ‘365 Safe Shelter’ where the elderly and victims of the cold wave can evacuate. Daegu City also conducted a pilot project in 2019 to use jjimjilbang as a heat wave shelter. However, due to the corona crisis, it was not possible to activate it while strengthening the quarantine guidelines for keeping distance. One citizen said, “The heat wave will become more and more rampant, but the idea of ​​using an air-conditioned night bath for the residents of the small room village is a good idea,” and “I hope more people use it.”

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