South Koreans pay for prison to escape stressful lives
Overworked South Koreans are locking themselves up in mock prisons to get away from the daily grind.
HONGCHEON, SOUTH KOREA — While most people take great pains to get away from prison, overworked South Koreans are actually paying to get into solitary confinement.
According to a Reuters report, the average person in South Korea worked about 2,024 hours in 2017 — the third longest in a survey of 36 OECD countries.
To seek relief, overworked South Koreans are paying $90 to stay in a mock prison in Hongcheon, where they spend 24 hours locked up in solitary confinement.
Clients sleep on the floor of a spartan 54-square-foot cell, which has a small toilet, but no clock or mirror. They wear blue prison uniforms and given accommodation kits with a yoga mat, tea set, pen and notebook.
Speaking to each other is forbidden, as is the use of mobile phones. Meals are fed through a slot in the door, and consist of steamed sweet potato and a banana shake for dinner, and rice porridge for breakfast.
The 'Prison Inside Me' facility has been open for five years, and has hosted over 2,000 'inmates.' Founder Noh Ji-Hyang claims she was inspired her prosecutor husband, who worked 100-hour work weeks.
She says people are wary of paying to stay in a prison cell until they actually do it and realize the real prison is the one outside.
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