Strange Massages in Cambodia
I am still in Cambodia, happy as can be. I woke up this morning feeling rather sleepy and lazy. Basically the only thing I wanted was to nap in my comfy hotel room. What more does a girl need but a queen sized bed, freezing cold AC, and 4 big pillows (I use all of them).
I spent my day surfing the internet and relaxing on my balcony. Eventually around 12:30pm I decided I was hungry so I got dressed and headed to this small side street with funky restaurants that I had seen earlier in the week. The street was straight out of Florence Italy. In tune with the atmosphere I decided to eat at an Italian restaurant. By 1:30 I was on my third glass of house white wine. A total necessity since it was over 100 degrees, YIKES!
After brunch I strolled into town, with no idea what I would do next. I passed by a massage parlor and decided it was the perfect day for a full body oil massage. Inside a Cambodian women, who told me her name was Suecan, washed my feet with warm water then escorted me into a dark room. The massage was a real confidence builder as she would giggle and occasionally tell me “you so beautiful you so beautiful.” Each time she found one of my tattoos around my body, once again I would be pulled out of my relaxed, buzzed trance to the sounds of more giggling and “oooooooh so beautiful.”
At some point during the massage I fell asleep. Shortly after I was woken up by Suecan shaking me to ask if she could go to the bathroom. I told her NO! Just kidding people, of course I told her to go but it is the first time someone asks to go to the bathroom during a massage. After an hour of wonderfulness, Suecan had me sit on the bed as she combed my hair and styled it into two French braids. She was so excited as she lead me to the mirror and showed me my new hairdo. It was one of the most wonderful, sweet. simple, innocent experiences of my life.
On the way to my hotel I must have been glowing from wine and essential oils because several people stopped me and in the nicest way told me how beautiful I looked and then continued on their way.
At my hotel I felt so happy (and yes, perhaps still a little buzzed) so, I asked if they also had a massage therapist. The hotel staff showed me the prices. The most expensive was US $15 per hour though they followed up with “but I think this too expensive for you lady.” They told me they could call someone else who would do an hour for $8 and I agreed.
A few minutes prior to the scheduled massage time I heard a knock on the door. It was Hannah, my new massage girl. She ran into the room laughing and giggling and hugged me and once again I was told how beautiful I was. Hannah came to about my shoulders in height, so she was tiny, as I am 5’3/5’4′. For around 10 minutes Hannah wrapped her arms around my waist and squeezed tightly and then threw herself onto the bed laughing and trying to pull me on the bed too.
Hannah told me again how sweet I was and how beautiful. I seriously started to worry that perhaps Hannah was thinking I had hired her for a “special massage.” After ten minutes of Hannah being in total excitement she walked into my bathroom without saying anything and went to pee with the door open (lol maybe some kind of pre massage ritual), then the massage started. Like Suecan she would also get excited when she disvovered my tattoos, but contrary to Suecan, she took a saucier way of reacting by open handedly slapping the area with the tattoo, laughing some more and then saying sorry.
Towards the end Hannah again left the bed where she was massaging me to use the bathroom, with the door open. Afterwads Hannah laid my head on her lap and did not move for several minutes, and abruptly said “ooooh can’t believe you so beautiful.” The massage ended with her slapping my butt and asking if she could go out on the balcony. We spent several more minutes with her giggling hysterically and hugging me. At the end she asked to take a picture together.
My day started extremely relaxed and is ending extremely relaxed except now I have an amazing memory of two very funny sweet Cambodian girls and my skin is now soft as a baby.
Two different massages, 2 different people, with this in common. An openness, genuineness and warmth that seems to be disappearing too fast in some places I have lived and visited.