Saturday, July 21, 2007

You want maaassssaaaage?

There is nothing easier to get in SE Asia than a massage. Sounds ok right? Could be worse things on every corner.

About 3 years ago I was on a short vacation with my friend Alison & her mom Kate in Phonpei which is a small island in FSM (Federated States of Micronesia). We had spent the day swimming & snorkeling and decided to get a massage. I had never had one before and was excited about it. I went to the massage hut and it when it was obvious to the girl who did not speak English that I had no other clothes aside from the swimsuit/shorts I was wearing we left the swimsuit on. Again, I had never had a massage and only knew they were supposed to be "relaxing". I layed on the bed and before I knew it she was on top of me on all fours pounding the daylights out of my back. The old boombox in the corner was pumping out the Phonpein version of the song "footloose". Not only was I not relaxed, I was very tense the entire time. The massage did not get any better and I could not believe this is what people had been raving about for so long. Safely back in our hut I told Alison about it and she assured me that was not a normal massage..

I have avoided massage since my experience in Phonpei.

fast forward to this past weekend:

As stated above, massage ladies are on every corner here in SE Asia. I was on the beach in Ko Samet last week and after being harassed about it enough I gave in and gave massage another go. I am happy to say that it was wonderful and I was so excited to be over my fear of them. So today, I decided to have another one and this time I decided to try an inside one as opposed to laying in the sand. After the price was negotiated (200 baht/1 hour) I was told to take my shirt off and lay on the table. Ok...the only red flag at this point is its a room of windows and 3 other tables. No privacy here, ok...I can get beyond that. I do as I am told and instantly the pain starts, I realize very quickly that this is going to be very different than the relaxing rub down I had on the beach last week. Now, I know there are different types of massage but I guess my thought was how different can the great one I had last week be from this hour of torture I am going through now be? The island are only 100 kilometers apart. Well, it was a long hour full of pain and I think I left more tense than I ever could have been going in. I think it was a combination of the pain, being 1/2 naked in a very open room and the other 5 Thai girls in the room having a great laugh over their conversations.
Unfortunately I think massage maybe one of those things that I want to like but just don't. Its joining the list along with yoga, raisins and jazz music.
or maybe I will just wait another 3 years and give another try.

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