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I did it again.

Remember this massage from last year?  I inadvertently had a similar experience today.

Let me back up.

Two days ago, I went to the grocery store.  The second floor of the grocery is an inferno, so we don’t go up there if we can help it, but this day I had to venture into the flames.  It is also the floor that is manned to death with workers.  Every aisle seemingly has its own squadron of workers wanting to sell you the “best” brand of goods.  They don’t care that you don’t understand them..or when you tell them thanks, but no, forty two times.  

They persist.

This day, there was a man near the skin bleaching creams that was handing out fliers.  I politely told him “thank you, but I can’t read that” and went on my way.

Imagine my surprise when I turned around on the mop aisle to find him following me.  I continued walking…faster…mumbling about needing to buy this stuff.  He said they had something free to give me.  In the spa.  Do I know where it is?  I stopped, looked at him (big mistake) and said I knew where it was.  I also said I didn’t have time and that I would go later, taking his flier.  

He wasn’t okay with this.  He went to grab my arm to pull me along, when I jerked my body back and said okay.  

I may have huffed and rolled my eyes too.

He didn’t care one iota.

Into the spa we went, where I was greeted with “Huanying Guanglin!” (Welcome) by seven people in the loudest voice they could manage.  It stopped me in my tracks.

They ushered me forward to sign my name.  I was flustered, a little scared, and a lot confused, so I promptly forgot how to write my name in Chinese.  

If you ever want to feel like you are an adult in Kindergarten, learn a new language.  It is a new kind of humbling!

After they wrote my name for me, I was pulled into a private room and told to sit.  

I thought that the lady told me she wanted to look at my skin then they would give me my free stuff (I assumed lotion).  Reality was totally different than how it went down in my imagination.  She told me lay down and quicker than lightening had my hair bound and my face covered in thick cream.  

There went that make-up.

Forty five minutes and $25 later, I went home with a free face massage under my belt and a card for both an hour long foot massage and a 45 minute back massage.  I also had a really sore face that was starting to break out.

I should have known.  I should have.

That brings us to today…when I went to redeem my two massages.

The foot one came first.  After the foot soak and all the comments about how perfectly white my legs are, she started rubbing.  When I jerked back in pain, she told me that was my digestive tract that was hurting.  

She asked if I had pooped.

Umm.  I thought she asked me if it hurt…so I replied “a little”.  It wasn’t until later that I realized I had told her I had pooped a little.

She relayed this to all the people who rotated through the room in the next hour to ogle the foreigner (there was as few as 2, as many as 5).  So they all knew that, according to my feet, I needed to poop.  She also told me that if I rubbed that part of my foot more frequently, I would have really nice poop.  Isn’t that the goal, y’all?

I was told that I have bad circulation because my toes were cold.  So I should eat more red dates.  That will fix it.

And my legs are too jiggly.  I need to exercise more, then they will be better.

And, upon seeing a picture of my family, I used to be fatter. 

After the fabulous fun of that hour and 20 minutes, I hobbled to the next room for my shoulder rub.  When I walked in, I saw another woman laying on one of the tables getting her massage.  So we were going to share a room.

Americans value privacy more than other countries…

The lady told me to take my shirt off.  Oh dear.  I took it off (with all three ladies watching).  The she pointed to my bra.  I quickly said, “I don’t want to”, so she did it for me.  My hands immediately slapped my bra back to my body, while saying, “I don’t want to”.  She said, “we are all women”, then gestured toward the bed.  

Uggggghhhh.

I, faster than you could blink, dove onto the bed.  She oiled my back and started trying to surgically remove the knots with her bare hands.  The first words out of her mouth were, 

“Your circulation is bad.”

Maybe I should listen.  That is probably why my hands and feet go numb all the time…

This massage was 45 minutes of the most intense pain EVER.  At one point, I almost sat up, regardless of my state of undress and said that it was enough.  I also almost cried.  I kept saying it hurt.  She just dug deeper.  Then she started mocking me, saying it all hurts.  With a laugh.  Soon the other women were chuckling.  

I was moaning.

So, now, I feel like I have been beat to a pulp.  Everything hurts.  Everything is sore.  And I am sure my body is turning blue with bruises.  How silly of me to think that I would come home relaxed and feeling like jello!  No more.  No more massages.  Until next time…when I forget again…

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