Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

The not so joyful Asian massage

A few years ago I took a solo trip to Borneo – my main mission being to climb Mt Kinabalu, appreciate the orangutans, and get muddy in the jungle. This is the continuation of that journey as I re-share my emails home. Kris

The day started off innocently enough with a meander about the Sunday markets. But now it’s pouring heavy monsoon rain which makes everything smells like dead fish and prawns.

Since it was unpleasant walking around I thought a repeat massage was the sensible thing to do. Two hours of relaxation, why the hell not? The masseuse from yesterday wasn’t in, but his sidekick, a cross eyed prepubescent friend was on the game for the afternoon. How bad could it be? For only $25 I’d be happy for someone to play with my hair for two hours.

After scratching my back with his icky, long pinky nail, grown quite obviously for one thing, I started to get suss. Then some lame head rubbing and enthusiastic back slapping ensued. Half an hour in to it the war started.

I think something must have crawled into his stomach during lunch and died there. He was doing the most hideously loud, reptile mixed with chilli pork burps – right near my head! No shame.

What is the global etiquette in this situation when one is trapped near naked, face down on a massage bed with a whimsy sheet wrapped tight around your privates? I buried my face further into the towel and tried to be polite, secretly wishing I could force one out back at him. His time will come.

He continued for an hour and asked if I’d like my feet rubbed as part of this experience. My size 10 clompers had just walked for hours all morning with new shoes and no socks. GO FOR IT I thought, here was my chance to get my own back. If he wanted to touch those things, all power to him. I held back ticklish giggles but chuckled and actually snorted to myself as I could hear him holding back gags and clearing his throat.

Sucked in I thought, as he worked his way around icky blisters from recent weekends hiking. He didn’t stay there long! Ha Ha.

I think the moral of the story is, don’t think you can repeat something good every time and NEVER get a massage anywhere in Asia straight after lunch.

Tonight I meet my group of ten and tomorrow we set off for two nights in a longhouse to sleep on the floor with a family and see how itchy it can be in the jungle. Bring it on!

Kris

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