Jack Bauer style
The alarm bells should have started to ring when he straddled me. It wasn’t sexual, don’t get me wrong. It was more like he was getting ready to carve a particularly large parma ham.
And it hurt. This man knew pain. He was on first name terms with it. There was a point where I actually thought I was going to dig my own fingernails right through my palms until they came out the other side. There was even a second when I wished he would just get out the meat slicer and finish me off.
Why didn’t I say anything? Why didn’t I say ‘Excuse me I don’t think finger joints bend THAT way? Maybe you need to go back to your anatomy textbook and turn it the right way up?’ Why didn’t I leap off the massage table naked and holler at him when he stuck his elbow joint into the place on my hip where three years of mangled nerves meet and where I’d told him specifically in both signs and simple English to not go near? You want to know why? Two reasons. Because I’m English and I don’t know how to complain in any way other than under my breath, in the medium of a blog or behind a back. And never, ever, in a million years to someone’s face unless of course they serve me bad food or they are my husband. In which case I know how to complain in such a way that the police get called (that was with food – John hasn’t yet called the police on me).
But why else didn’t I complain to the man trying to tear the muscle off my bones with his bare hands so he could hang it out to make biltong?
Because he’d been trained by a master. And I didn’t want to offend him. How English is that?
Now I know that when they said he’d been trained by a master they meant that he’d spent the last year watching all 7 box-sets of 24. Jack Bauer was his master. He even talked all breathless.
I can hear John groan and am hoping that I made it clear that our double massage was to include no happy finish. I peek over. It’s ok. He’s groaning because the woman has just slapped some yogurt, straight from the fridge onto his chest and is now slathering it in great lobbing handfuls over his body. I realise he’s not groaning. He’s yelping.
My laughter gets cut off when my lady pours half a litre of Rachel’s Organic over my boobs. Seriously. Are you kidding? But guess what people? I don’t say anything. I don’t question the wisdom of the friendly bacteria body mask. I stifle the yelps and just obey when they tell me to get up, inching gingerly off the table, and walking like a cowboy to stop it sliding into places it should only go when you have thrush. I follow their directions to the bath. Filled not with the milk of asps but with tepid water. Mmmm lovely.
Another one chalked down to experience.
Massage Ubud Wayan (as she is known in my phone so as not to get her confused with English speaking taxi Wayan, non English speaking taxi Wayan and cleaning Wayan) is recommended to me by the person who trained her.
She comes to my house (bonus points), she charges half the price of the other masseurs in town (more bonus points), she doesn’t use yogurt, she doesn’t straddle me and she understands enough English that when I say ‘please don’t touch my herniated discs’ she doesn’t touch them. This is progress I think.
The person who trained her runs a massage company. In Hollywood. For film stars. His masseurs work 24/7 on film sets massaging the talent. I so am in the wrong business. I want to be talent. I want massage ubud Wayan to massage me 24/7.
My massage takes place in a room overlooking the rice paddies. But I don’t notice because I’m drifting between two realms. One is pleasure and the other one is the same place I go to when I watch True Blood and pause on the bits with Eric in them.
When she finishes there is a pool of drool underneath the massage table. I don’t smell like a fruit corner and I don’t have crescent shaped cavities in my palms.
I think I’ve found a keeper.