Calling Masseur Feelgood
It's been an exhausting and stressful couple of weeks. And it's not that this is different from how my life normally goes, but it seems when you throw in 92 degrees with three million percent humidity I just want to curl up somewhere with air conditioning and sleep for a week. Well, that or fight people on the subway who sweat on me. Yeah, I may need a vacation.
What I could really use is a massage. I’m a big fan of massages, though I rarely get them. I think I like them as much as 50 Cent thinks fat kids like cake. So when I went to Thailand a few years ago, a place that is known for said pleasure for a fraction of the cost, I was thrilled. And after lugging myself around Bangkok for a few days with the similarly extreme heat and crowding that makes New York City look like uncharted territory, I was ready for a rubdown.
The thing was, I didn’t need all my muscles to be attended to. So my two friends and I began our mission to find an authentic Thai massage, free of happy endings. We were told if the place was legit, it wouldn’t be down a back alley. It ended up taking us three frustrating hours to find somewhere that would not leave us with the parting gift of an STD. Finally we were all led to a clean, good-sized room and told to strip down and put on our robes.
We lay down on our mats and three miniature Thai women entered, chatting away with each other. With little more then a smile in our direction, they got to work molding our backs to their whim, never stopping their discussion. And it was a good thing they kept talking because they drowned out our moans of happiness. When I was turned over on my back and the woman started walking to the very top of my inner thigh, I learned I was tense in places I hadn’t even thought about. It was intimate enough that I felt like we should share an after-massage cigarette and then maybe spoon.
By the time the women were done, the three of us were puddles of relaxation. It literally took everything we had to get dressed. And while the experience was a bit odd, it wasn’t nearly as strange as an Indian ayurvedic massage a friend told me about. Apparently for that experience you’re completely naked, they lube you up with so much baby oil that the person giving the massage hangs from a rope, and then they massage you with their feet. When the masseuse started massaging her breasts with her well-worn hooves, the girl slid right off the table and out the door faster then you can say Kamasutra.
I guess there’s something to be said for an authentic, foreign massage, but the cost of getting out there without being emotionally scarred? Well, that’s priceless.