Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Awkward Massages - Part II

I tried to resist the Call of the Groupon, but I'm weak, and I admit it. This time I was enticed by a set of 3 one-hour massage sessions for AED 219 - that's $60 for THREE Massages!! And I figured this way Brian could get one too. And, the vendor was a medical centre - surely they know how to give a decent massage? ... right? ... (sigh)

Again, I had trouble even making the appointment. My phone calls were with a guy who spoke passable English but giggled every time he had to tell me they didn't have any appointments available. It took 2 phone calls for him to definitively tell me we couldn't get in the next day, and another 2 calls and more giggling to finally make an appointment for the following weekend. But, all sorted, Brian and I were scheduled for massages the following Saturday at 2pm.

We headed downtown and found the location. The 'medical center' was housed in a converted villa apartment in one of the high rises downtown. This isn't really that unusual as most small businesses are set up this way, but even though we know that's how it works here, it's a little disconcerting.

We were greeted by 'Giggles' who asked for our Groupon voucher (we were using 2 of the 3 massages on the voucher) and asked us to wait. It was then decided that Brian would have an oil massage, but that I needed something called a slimming massage. ... yeah, you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that. Something of a Filipino cultural thing to point out to us Westerners how fat we are. But, oh well, how bad could it be, and what if it really worked? ;)

Off to separate rooms - bigger than the last 'spa' but very clinical, which I did actually expect. Just the massage table, a sink and a desk. Luckily, she kept the fluorescent lights off.

The massage started out just fine and basically what I've come to expect here - they aren't great, but get the job done, and I was feeling pretty proud of my discount and restored faith in Groupon.

And then it was time for the 'slimming' part of the massage. (I feel like I should suggest you pause here to let you mind come up with all manner of creative ideas of what this might have entailed. Your imagination is probably a lot more interesting than what actually happened.)

The slimming part of the massage is this lotion of some kind of Chinese miracle plant extract that she rubbed into my upper arms, stomach, thighs and calves. Then she wrapped all those parts in Saran Wrap (yes, seriously) and left me to 'slim' for about 15 minutes. While she was gone, the stuff started to burn, so I tried to imagine all the fat burning off while I lay there so as to keep myself from pulling off the plastic wrap. Then, the plastic comes off that that's it. I tried to wash the stuff off in the sink, but no luck - my arms and right inner thigh in particular were really burning now and looked red to me. I tried to see if I looked any slimmer ...

Brian's experience wasn't much better - awkward, not at all relaxing and now he was covered in oil. As we started to leave, Giggles made sure we had our voucher for the 3rd massage ... this was tossed in the nearest garbage can when we left the building.

My arms and thigh burned for the better part of the next two hours and I don't look even the slightest bit slimmer.  Okay this time I really am going to STOP buying Groupons ... promise.

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