On my second night in Bangkok I went to get one of the Thai massages my room mate kept raving about.
“They’re only like, 200 baht ($6 dollars or 600 yen),” she’d say, “and it’s an hour long and they do such a good job.”
You’d think she worked for the Thai Tourism commission with all that endorsement, but I was curious, and the price was right. So that night we walked the strip of massage parlours, nail salons and Indian restaurants that led up to our hotel. We stopped at one where a delightfully friendly and obviously gay man waved us in.
“Come massage, it’s good! What kind massage you want?”
There was a good selection: Head and shoulder massage, foot massage, leg massage, aromatherapy…all for under 10 dollars – both Canadian and U.S. We both went with the full body “Thai” massage. We were led inside, told to take off our shoes and given questionable plastic flip flops. It took us like five minutes to climb the stairs to the massage room because my room mate was trying to make as little contact with the flip flops as possible, walking like a cat whose claws had grown too long or something.
When we did finally get upstairs we were taken to the massage beds, separated by curtains. We had to undress and put on some flowy pajamas, which were comfortable. Then I lied down to wait for the masseuse. By this time I was really getting into it. The atmosphere was relaxing: the lights were low, and there was some soothing Dido playing in the background. My masseuse came and told me to relax, and began expertly massaging my calves, really working out all the kinks with just the right amount of pressure. When she worked her way up to my back I started to drift off. How could I not? The massage was soothing, the music soft and calm…I was experiencing extreme chill factor. So my eyes drifted closed, and then I heard it.
My eyes snapped open. Was that…was that a belch? Everyone stated giggling. Apparently the back massage helps relieve gas, as someone on the other side of the room was demonstrating. We all had a good laugh and I got back to relaxing, but not long after my eyes closed again,
Um, OK, that’s kinda nasty and distracting. I’m trying to relax over here. But I guess it can’t be helped. I’ll try to ignore it.
“BRAAP! BRAAP! BRAAAAAAAAP!“
What is wrong with this person? Did they drink a whole two litre bottle of coke before coming here? Or maybe they have some kind of horrible gastrointestinal problem. Dammit!
Yeah. The loud belching ruined to mood to say the least. But it was OK, since I went back a few more times after that and thankfully Belchy MacBelcherson wasn’t there.