Apologies in advance this post may include TMI and some swearing!
Tonight we are rattling our way across country on an overnight sleeper train, which is quite exciting but not at all like the orient express!
The train was leaving at half 7, so at half 5, because I thought was likely I’d have a bit of a rough night, I thought I’d treat myself to a massage. At 500 bht it was a tenner for an hour’s massage. #win. Or so I thought!!!
The woman asked me if I was OK with a man massaging me and that was fine. So the guy showed me to a little curtained off booth and to some prison pyjamas which I put on. Then… It began. Now apparently Thai massage is notorious for being vigorous, painful, and not as “aromatherapy twinkle music” as some other types of massage. I’d say that’s the understatement of the century!!
First of all I’m used to massages where they use their hands. Massages primarily done through the medium of elbows into nerve endings are excruciating! All of the points my massuse was merrily digging his elbows into (leaning his entire boy weight into it, just to really pummel my muscles, nerves, sinews) seemed to be those weird nervous points where you simultaneously flinch, giggle, and want to throw up. And it was like that. For the whole hour. At at least three points I was genuinely concerned I was actually going to vomit. Genuinely, I’m not saying this for laughs. I certainly wasn’t laughing. Initially I thought maybe I just had particularly tight muscles in my thighs and that it would get better when he got to my back, my neck, or my arms. It didn’t. And being supremely British and more than slightly uncomfortable with the language barrier I clenched my fists, limited my breathing and curled as far into myself as humanly possible.
The other thing about Thai massages is that they really get stuck in. I can safely say that I have never had a man who was not my significant other (or something to that effects) ferreting around quite so… Intimately! I’m not trying to imply the massuse was unprofessional or that there was anything untoward about his manner but jeeeeeez! When I’ve had massages that go up the thighs they stop several miles south of this dude! And it’s not just hands! When he wasn’t elbowing me painfully in the thighs, hips… Groin, he stuck his feet right on the inside of my hip sockets and pulled my legs by the ankle like he was trying to dismember me!!
Now, I like to think I’m reasonably supple, I go to yoga, I can touch my toes, I can cross my legs (like you do in school assembly when you sit on the floor) and lean forward over them without breaking a sweat. What I cannot do, or could not and now probably can(!), is have one leg over an ear and the other bent the wrong way across my back.
So for an hour I am tortured by this sweet guy who works hard to get out all the knots in my back, to get his elbow wedged under my rib cage and massage my diaphragm from underneath, to encourage my spine to become a double helix, who occasionally plants his feet firmly (where a gynocologist treats with gentleness) and leans his entire body weight into the futile attempt to dislocate my hip joints.
It was delightful…. Or perhaps not.
I have never been so pleased that an hour had passed!!! I staggered out, feeling baffled and somewhat violated, bowing my thanks to my masseuse and I look forward to being a veritable raspberry ripple of bruises for our long weekend at the beach!!