Whenever I travel somewhere in Asia I always try out a local massage for better or for worse. Sometimes it was definitely for the worse, and here are some of my more bizarre experiences.
Bangkok massage trauma:
I went to the tourist district on Kao San Road in Bangkok and went to a typical Thai massage shop. Many floor mats were lined up in a big room with many sessions going on simultaneously. I ended up with a male therapist. The first thing he did was turn on a fan that blew cold air on me in a room that was already air conditioned to arctic temperatures. When I told him that the fan made me cold, he insisted that he needed it since he felt hot.
A few minutes after he started my massage he got up and started to prepare a pot of tea. When he was done he came 출장마사지 back to me and continued the massage without any explanation. A few minutes later another client was done with his session. Apparently my therapist was the main cashier since he got up and collected the money from him. Again he returned without offering any explanation and kept working on me.
At this point I felt like getting up and walking out. But I decided to stay just to see how far this could go. And incredibly enough the fellow kept stopping my massage every time someone needed to pay for their session. His main job was cashier and he also did massages as an afterthought it seemed. I felt like I was a piece of meat being pushed around mindlessly, I was freezing, and I even had to pay for the abuse.
I went to a massage shop in Luang Prabang to get an oil massage. There was nothing wrong with the session, but when I took a shower afterward to wash the oil off my body, I realized that the oil did not come off. After three rounds of soap and water, I decided they must have used petroleum mixed with super glue, because I still felt greasy and sticky. Soap and water had no chance against this incredible massage oil. It managed to prolong my experience way past the one hour session that I paid for.
I was traveling in Burma and one evening I was excited when I saw a sign for a massage shop. I signed up for a session and was directed to a wall with a curtain. When they pulled the curtain aside, I saw a cut-out in the wall. It was a rectangular hole in the wall with the dimensions of a coffin, just higher. A super thin mat rested on regularly spaced pieces of wood. The effect was that the mat was sagging in all the spaces between the wooden slats and the slats dug themselves into my back.
A little old man showed up and I was wondering how he could give me a massage in a space that was just big enough to accommodate my own body. Somehow he managed to climb over me and squeeze himself in a squatting position between my legs. He pulled the curtain shut and did some pressing and squeezing on some parts of my body that he could reach from his contorted position. I would have gotten up and walked out, but I wanted to experience it just for the weirdness of it. After the session my body felt worse than before, but I had another memorable travel experience.