On our second weekend of this miserable Dry January, Big Libs and I decided it was time to face our fears and get a massage. After hearing the horrors of brothel styled asian parlours, we carefully selected one that that didn’t look like it harboured syphilis or the bodies of any missing children.
My masseuse was a short filipino lady who spoke very little english but lead me into the dark alcoves of the parlour, down into my room. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t reminded me of a low budget sex dungeon but what can you expect for a 30 quid massage?
She kindly asked me to remove all my clothes, including my pants, and pointed to the super flattering paper thong lying on the bed. After leaving the room, I stripped and decided that if I was going to be murdered here at least the massage bed was heated.
My masseuse (aka Sniffles) returned to the room and let out a small ‘ah’. I hadn’t been able to locate a towel and had been trying to decide what was the least awkward position for Sniffles to find me in. Somehow I arrived with this.
Sniffles was obviously not prepared for my untoned naked body all at once and proceeded to bury me in 4 towels.
Underneath the many layers of towels, she began the massage. I was slightly concerned she was going to spend the entire massage rubbing me like my mother used to after a day at the pool when I was 5. I’ve never been one for massages, mostly because they cost more than your first born child in any spa in London. Within 5 seconds I remembered why. I am extremely ticklish and every time Sniffles touched a new bit of skin my natural instinct was to karate kick her into the reception. Only 45 minutes left to go. For such a small person, Sniffles was extremely aggressive and it felt a little bit like I was being thrown around in a washing machine. She also wasn’t shy and proceeded to show my bottom more attention than its had in a very long time.
About half way through the massage, I’ve just got control of the tickles and my constant urge to burst out laughing when one of the worst possible things that could happen in a massage takes place. One of the many cultural differences we have found here is, in a country obsessed with cleanliness and sanitisation, it is acceptable to belch and fart extremely loudly in public. So just as I am settling in, Sniffles lets out an absolute monster of a burp and continues on like nothing has happened. It was a good thing I was lying on my front as I could see the tears of laughter sploshing on to the floor below me.
One thing I do have to applause Sniffles on was the courage and bravery it took to go anywhere near my legs. It’s been a long winter and my bod was not in condition for a stranger to be aggressively rubbing me in oil. Not all heroes wear capes.
Still I soldiered on and Sniffles was unaware that I was about as relaxed as a drug mule walking through airport security with 2 kilos of cocaine up their bum. After flipping me onto my front (which was not an easy task and I’m pretty sure she saw both of my boobs), I started to calm down after the burp. But sure enough, Sniffles detected I was simmering down again and proceeded to massage my arm pit, causing me to produce a whimper like giggle and tense every muscle in my body all over again.
So I bet you’re wondering how this little gem got her nickname? In the final 15 minutes of the massage, I’ve produced enough sweat to drown a baby trying to hide how tense I am. She’s finally got to my head (which she weirdly enough proceeded to hit really hard like whackamole and scratch like she was checking for head lice). My heart rate is down, this experience is almost over and the cherry on top was my masseuse sneezing all over me.