Alex is a great husband (time to brag). He’s always telling me to “treat yo’ self” even when I’m the one looking at my wallet and second thinking. So, after much encouragement, I sauntered into a nearby spa for an hour long massage. Figuring out what I wanted sounded like an episode of Charlie Brown’s teacher (wa-wa-wa-waaa-wa) followed by a dollar amount. Gina’s Chinese level = 0.1%. After deciding the first option was too expensive, I picked the second option, kicked off my shoes and followed the nice lady back to my room.
During the first five minutes, I realized I should have learned the words for, “Your massage is way too hard. Can you soften up?” Hindsight is 20/20, and in lieu of sitting up and communicating through hand gestures like Gina the gorilla, I decided to tough it out and bear it. 30 minutes later, she said something else to me (wa-wa-waaaaa-wa) and left the room. After waiting for a few minutes by myself, I surmised that the reason option #2 was cheaper was because it was for a half hour. I then promptly redressed and walked to the counter to pay. They looked a little flustered, pulled up google translate and showed me the phrase “not finished yet.” Equal parts pleased and embarrassed, I walked back to my room, re-undressed and laid down again. AWKWARD.
From my head in the massage table head hole position, I couldn’t see what was happening but could hear a large machine being rolled into the room. My technician then proceeded to roll this large suction cup thing down my back. I was thinking that it was very weird and also thought at points that it was very painful. After being thus tortured, I worked up the nerve to ask, “Jae ge shir shen ma?!” (What is that?!) She got out her phone and google translate came up with “body moisture extraction device.” While I was still processing this, she told me that the red marks should go away after a day. I was thinking what red marks? OMG, what have I done? Did that machine give me scars? Is my back burned? Trying to keep it all together, I made it back to the counter (again) and really paid this time.
I returned to the apartment where Alex asked me if I had a nice time. I told him about how embarrassed I was and then went to the mirror to check on my back. At this point, I grew somewhat hysterical. Huge ugly welts covered my back and I had just PAID someone to do this to me. To recover I had a nice long cry followed by a long nap. The red marks did not go away after one day; it took a full 3 days for my back to look normal again. Lesson learned: next time I go to have something done, I should really listen to the description and understand what I’m getting into before I’m in the middle of it. Also, no more massages for me without a translator.