I realized I almost didn’t tell you this story. Then I typed the thing about ping pong balls and was like… uhhh if you’re going to say that, then you should say this too. So, here it is. The time I went to get a Thai massage. Comedy ensues.
One of the only things I wanted in Thailand was a Thai massage. I’ve had a knot in my shoulder since approximately October when I popped it out of place and I’ve searched far and wide for someone to work the kinks out. A naked Georgian man hit me with a bag of soap and chopped at it, but didn’t assuage the pain. I failed to find anyone in India to try and so I figured, Thailand has an entire school of massage named for them. Thai massage is a thing. I got a foot massage in Chiangmai at an open air market and it was amazing. The lady worked my feet and calves with this little wooden stick and it felt great. All that said, I wanted to get a Thai back massage. Matt and I went looking for a “safe” massage parlor, because I honestly wanted to get someone to work out the kink in my back.
We found a spot on our street that looked safe. It was tended by women all over 40 and many of them missing teeth. They looked like the sort of ladies who might have spent their entire life giving people like me great Thai massage. We went inside and I agreed to pay the 200 Baht for a one hour massage. Matt and I were led upstairs and showed into a large dark room with probably seven beds and cloth curtains hanging between them. I was shown inside one and Matt into another further down. The lady gave me some weird really baggy white pants that I thought maybe was a t-shirt. I put these pants on and laid down on my back. My large older Thai with no teeth lady came upstairs and spent maybe six minutes on my back. She didn’t even sniff at rubbing my shoulders. Then she told me to flip over. She then spent the next forty minutes rubbing my legs between my knees and my belly button.
I have incredibly tight IT bands, an issue that stems from two ACL replacements during high school. She didn’t rub those. Instead she really focused on my upper thighs. I think her intentions were to try and get me more “interested” in “additional” services. After twenty minutes of this oeuvre, she was stymied by my total lack of interest. I am bad at smiling even when I am happy. I am miserable at smiling when I am unhappy.
So then she just patted my penis. (Insert Bangkok joke here) Just a little tap, kind of like the way you’d say to someone, “Hey come sit over here.” and then pat the chair. “This okay?” she asked. I wasn’t sure what she was asking. Is my penis okay? Yes. It’s fine. Is it okay I’m patting this? No, that’s okay. My answer reflected my confusion. It was dark, she didn’t speak great English. I just said Yes, No, It’s fine. And continued not smiling. She returned to massaging my thighs.
Eventually she had me sit up as she climbed behind. I thought, well now I might get that shoulder massage. Instead she took her position behind me as an opportunity to run her hands down my chest towards my belt region, whispering that she could massage the whole body. What she meant was she could “massage” my whole body. What I wanted was a damn shoulder massage. Is that so much to ask Thailand? I again told her I was good.
I kept thinking to myself, is Matt getting the same weird treatment a few curtains over? I can’t hear him saying anything. Is that why the fans are so loud in this room? What’s happening? Where am I?
After she was rejected again, she decided to finish up my hour massage after about fifty minutes. I paid her with a five hundred Baht note, she gave me two hundred back (she should have given me three hundred back) and then had the audacity to ask me for a tip. I told her she’d already taken the tip and she wasn’t getting anymore. I walked out.
Matt got a great normal Thai massage, and had no penis pats. Life is weird.