As part of a promotion, I was treated to a free full body massage at a new spa today, right after work. How refreshing!
However, soon after the massage began, I realised I had forgotten to cancel my regular appointment with a foot reflexologist. But it was too late to get up – I was already lying, topless, face down on the mattress and my masseuse was applying cream on my back! However, the phone didn’t ring for a while.
So I decided to forget my long-term ‘relationship’ and just enjoy my little fling with this new spa. After all, you wouldn’t know if another spa can offer you something better, until you try it 😉
(Read more about the whole steamy affair, and to find out if the spas have been telling us a load of bullshit)
However, I sensed that this would only just be a fling. Just minutes into the session, the masseuse started digging information out of me, not very subtly.
“Where do you stay?” she asked suddenly, without any relation to previous comments she had made to me.
“Why do you ask?” I countered. I knew that anything I said could be used against me in the near future (when they press their customers to buy a spa package right after the session is over). After a few more exchanges where I totally dodged the issue by talking about other people, she decided not to press for an answer.
Then, I turned over on my back for another round of lymphatic ‘drainage’. She remarked that my right shoulder was very stiff. I told her I had just played golf, and had also dislocated my shoulder when I was younger.
Immediately, she asked, “Which club do you play in?”
I realised I had made a slip-up, but it was too late. So I told her I played golf in Bishan, was was not an untruth, considering that I had been there recently as part of a company outing.
After that, the massage proceeded as normal, with the masseuse pointing out the cellulite on my thighs and identifying a suspect ‘lump’ in one of them, which apparently contained toxins. She assured me that after this special massage, all the toxins in my body would come out in my shit and it would stink. (Hokay, something to look forward to…)
After that was over, my masseuse ordered me to get up, stand with my legs wide apart, and arms stretched out, straight. Then she proceeded to wrap my entire body with cellophane! As the layers of shiny plastic made their way around my body and limbs multiple times, I felt rather silly and wondered how I would look, walking down the corridor like Robocop, in disposable panties and only a small towel squished on my chest.
I asked her what this was for. She explained that the wrap was needed so that the ointment would soak into my skin. I felt like a piece of marinated meat, about to be tucked into the microwave oven.
She helped me put on my robe (seeing how I could not bend my arms very much) and led me to the sauna. She handed me a damp towel, tellilng me I needed to put this on my face so I could breathe easier.
So the hot and steamy scene began. It was a large sauna, and I was fortunate to be the only one in it. Fortunate for me, because nobody could see me choking for air, wrapped in cellophane and a shower cap. Fortunate for other people too, as the dense clouds of steam were almost unbearable.
I decided to breathe through the towel so the steam didn’t feel like it was going right into my lungs. My robe became damp and the towel became soaking wet – so wet that when I wrung it, generous amounts of water would splatter onto the floor. The steam got hotter and noisier and I looked to the glass door many times, wondering when my sauna-salvation would arrive.
Finally, the door opened – but it was another lady from the spa. She looked at me, then pressed a button on the wall, telling me she was going to make me sit through ANOTHER round! And so I did. The steam grew, hissed and enveloped yours truly in another cloud of humidity.
When I came out of the sauna and stepped into the cool air, my masseuse asked me how I felt.
“Like dim sum!” I exclaimed, and she laughed. She then led me, dripping, to the shower, took a pair of scissors and proceeded to snip down my arms and body, freeing me of the grasp of cellophane.
At that point, I felt more like a bak chang (a triangular rice dumpling tightly wrapped in leaves, also steamed). I also noticed that my hands were red, like cooked lobster claws.
I showered and dried my hair, and went back to my room to change. In the privacy of my room, I decided to check my mobile phone for missed calls.
Sure enough, there was one – from my old, faithful spa. I had never stood them up before on any appointments before, so I was feeling guilty. I called them an hour late and apologised profusely, saying that I was busy and didn’t have my phone with me.
“Sure, Vanessa,” the older, motherly receptionist responded. “I know you were busy. Shall I fix an appointment for tomorrow?”
How sweet and forgiving! But after getting marinated and steamed, I didn’t want to have another massage tomorrow. “Not this week,” I said, “My schedule is packed (that was also true because I was going to be busy every evening). How about next week, same time?”
I stepped out of the room and as expected, was taken to another room where another lady tried to sell packages to us. However, their packages were very expensive as they wanted us to sign up for 30 sessions at a go. If I had a full body massage every month, I would be bound for over a year to this spa! I told the lady that buying one package would cost me my entire salary (that was the sad truth), and she had no argument for that. We politely took our leave.
And so I started and ended my little ‘affair’, all in the space of a few hours, deciding to go back to my affordable, less glamorous wellness spa which also had more sincere and less obtrusive service.
[ Afternote: I found out that there are no lymphs in the thighs where my ‘lump’ was. The nearest lymph area is in the groin, further up. Also, the toxins-going-into-the-shit theory is apparently a load of crap. I’ll confirm this with interested readers – if any – within the next few days. ]