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Escaping reality by paying to get locked up

The Wider Image: South Koreans lock themselves up to escape prison of daily life

Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters / The Atlantic

Sometimes, when work and everything else overwhelms us, we tend to dream of escaping from all form of human contact and lock ourselves away. Alone with yourself, only to be accompanied by books and silence.

You could simply escape reality by going to prison. Not to worries, your dreams of being alone with no interference doesn’t have to involve committing a crime. In Hongcheon, South Korea, you can run away from the outside world by going into a ‘mock’ prison.

A hotel of some sort, ‘Prison Inside Me’ is where people could pay to be locked away for 24 hours in solitary confinement. ‘Jail mates’ wear matching uniforms, stay in a 54-square-foot cell and are also forbidden from speaking to others. They also forbid any usage of cell phones and clocks inside the prison.

Meals inside ‘Prison Inside Me’ aren’t in anyway fancy and are kept to a minimal—a steamed sweet potato and banana shake for dinner and rice porridge for breakfast—these meals are slotted in the cell doors.

Since this is not a regular hotel, the cells and the items that are included are identical to one another. Accommodation Kits include a yoga mat, tea set, pen and a notebook. There are no beds in the cells, hence participants have to sleep on the floor.

To be kept in solitary confinement for 24 hours, participants can pay about $90. Since opening in 2013, the prison has had more than 2,000 people, all wanting to get away from reality even for a short while. Most of those who choose to have a vacation are often workers or students whom are stressed out by their daily lives.

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