The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Feb 13, 2008

A Spa in Chiang Mai

It started rather innocuously. The wife and I were asked to don towels and escorted into a room filled with thick, hot steam. Khun Lek placed a couple of bottles of water by our side and sidled out, bowing and smiling. The steam condensed on our bodies and we gaped at each other for a bit. Three minutes later, I started to get a tad bored.

"How long do we sit here?" I said

"Don't know," said the wife . "Why are you always so impatient? This is supposed to be a time to relax."

We sat around some more. Sweat pooled around my neck and ran in streams down my arms and legs. My face felt swollen. Hygroscopic, that's me.

"How long have we been sitting here?" I said presently.

"Five minutes?" said the wife .

"How are you, sir and madam?" said Khun Lek from behind the door.

"Fine, thanks," said the wife .

"How long do we sit here?" I said.

"As long as you like, sir," said Khun Lek. "Half an hour is good."

"Half an hour!" I choked. "I'm not shelling out a coupla-hundred quid to get steamed. I want my massage!"

The wife heaved one of her long-suffering sighs.

"What?" I barked.

"Nothing", she said.

A couple of minutes later, even the wife was beginning to feel restless.

"Umm," she said. "This is a bit boring, no?"

"Ahoy there, Khun Lek!" I yelled. There was a brief patter of gentle feet.

"We're done here," I said as Khun Lek opened the door. The steam billowed out, enveloping the masseuse. We followed the vapours, staggering and missing steps.

Khun Lek escorted us to a fancy shower room. She pointed out the fancy soap, the fancy shampoo, the fancy showercap. We washed briskly and fancily.

Khun Lek and her associate greeted us with soft soft pyjamas and shirts. After we put them on, we crept past silent and dark statues of birds and dragons, tiptoed by a Buddha or two, and lay down supine on soft soft beds.

Khun Lek placed a weighted blindfold over my eyes. Suddenly I was aware of every rustle in the room. Shuffling noises. Sussurating whispers. In the deep background played a santoor. Soothing melodies wafted through the room, causing my hair to stand on end. I do not like new age Muzak. I urged myself to relax.

Khun Lek started by pulling my toes. That did not feel too bad. (I smirked to myself that she wasn't pulling my leg.) She caught each toe below the knuckle and yanked. Then she kneaded my calves and shin.

"How is my pleasure, sir?" she lisped.

I cast about for an answer.

"Soft, medium or stlong?" she said.

I guess she meant pressure.

"Strong, please," I said.

I heard the wife requesting added pressure as well. I settled down to contemplate my navel.

Khun Lek by now was lifting each of my legs and pulling along orthogonal axes. Her fingers dug into my flesh at various acupuncture points. One by one, sundry organs shut down and rebooted. It was all vaguely soothing.

I heard a shuffling and then a weight settled on my legs. The weight crawled upwards to my hips. Suddenly, the pressure intensified - elbows and knees pressing and flattening my limbs. It was not quite so soothing any longer.

"You are tense," said Khun Lek.

"Urk," I said.

The pressure built up even more. Pins and needles flickered up and down my legs. She thrust downwards, sideways, grabbed my shoulder for leverage, twisted and strained. I couldn't see a damned thing! She sat on my right leg and took my left foot in her hands and pulled inwards. A sharp pain shot through my side. Then my leg was being twisted across my torso and pressed down simultaneously, my foot firmly ensconced into what I can only imagine was her armpit. The pain by now was continuous and intense. Streaks of agony rushed up and down my limbs; in an ecstacy of torture, my mind spiralled inwards and all I could think of was the stations on Bangkok's Sky Train.

"Phloen Chit!" I yelped. "Chit Lom! Asok! Nana!"

She wouldn't stop! When I thought the perversion would get no worse, Khun Lek merrily applied strange torques to my arms. My feet touched my nose. My big toe was buried in my navel. My right hand found itself reaching for the ceiling, twisted and stretched and returned looking like my left hand. Khun Lek squashed my chest with her elbows. My stomach migrated to colder climes. I could no longer feel my legs but all across my torso rampaged streaks of health and pain.

Before I knew it, I was lying face down. My legs arched backwards, my feet appearing by my ears. My back strained and popped. I was perspiring so much that the bed began to dissolve. Elbows dug into my lower back. A steamroller went up and down by spine, crunching it to a pancake.

"Please tell me if my pleasure not enough," said the diabolical Khun Lek, chuckling to herself.

"Medium! Medium!" I gasped.

"What did you say, sir? More pleasure?" said Khun Lek.

I thumped the bed and burst into tears.

"Less! Less!" I urged.

"You wuss," said the wife. She sounded more relaxed than the Dalai Lama.

Iron rods were being pressed into my shoulder blades and wing muscles. Twist, prod, heave. Strong hands grabbed my shoulders and a knee embedded itself into my lower spine. I was lifted then, my back arched tauter than a bow. I felt a deep sympathy for Kichaka, who must have experienced exactly this before Bhima broke his spine. I couldn't see a damned thing except for spots dancing before my eyes. My vision turned red, the bending abated and I flopped back onto the bed. The back of my head was slapped around a bit. By this time I had lost all interest in the proceedings.

"Would you like some jasmine tea, sir?" said Khun Lek a few minutes later.

"Urk," I said.

We were escorted to the dressing room, where I needed ministrations from the entire staff to put on my shirt. I couldn't bend and my arms were lifeless. I also appeared to have lost some height.

"Wow," said the wife. "That was awesome. Do you want to do this again?"

She was glowing with health and energy.

"Wow," said the wife again. "All my knots are gone."

"Just give me the damned tea," I muttered thickly. "And get me the hell outta here."

I couldn't lift the teacup to my mouth, so I put my face on it instead and slurped. Khun Lek pattered about, smiling and pouring. All I could think of at the moment was that I sure was glad I hadn't gone for a massage in Istanbul.

If a woman half my height and a third of my weight could inflict so much agony, I shuddered to think of what a bare-chested, hairy, flop-bellied and moustachioed Turk could do to me. A couple of happy slaps from the man, and I wouldn't be here to tell this story.

My first Thai massage. And I am decidedly confident - my last.


Anonymous said...

Yeah this is a really good piece! You are quite a man though - in your place (unless the chic was really ugly) my thoughts would have been quite different no matter what the pain involved.

Fëanor said...

You're a total horndog, what? :-)

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