Life Lesson – Foot Massages in Malaysia

ImageSome people take longer to learn a lesson; sadly I fall into this group. I thought a massage would be nice. I asked a few co-workers about the places they go for a massage, the descriptions convinced me I wasn’t going to get one while living in Malaysia, unless I was willing to bring my own disinfectant, my own mat cover and towels… in other word there isn’t a clean place to get a massage.

Driver Din heard me talking (whining is a better description) to co-worker, Isah, about wanting a massage but I would wait until I was home before getting one. Din suggested I go to a Reflexology salon, he assured me this would cure all of my problems (or at least stop my whining).

Din (he’s one of my favorite people) took it upon himself to find a salon opened on a Sunday, so I could get a nice foot massage. Friday he walked into my office and handed me a pink piece of paper written in Malaya with a picture of feet on it. I looked at him expecting him to interpret, he said ‘for you, make an appointment’; gosh he makes it sound so easy. Isah offered to call and set an appointment, and confirm the location. She came back a bit later and said I had an appointment for 9:30 Sunday morning.

Sunday rolls around and I’m ready to go. One of the guys in the office decided he wanted a foot massage too, so he borrowed a car and off we went. I should have been leery when I realized it was at the Giant Center (huge store that makes most Wal-Mart look upscale), you know that little voice that says to rethink this move, but you don’t listen.

I ventured in and look at all the little shops along the wall, none of them had my companies name. I showed my pink paper to the security guard (I don’t speak Malaya and he doesn’t speak English, we came to this conclusion immediately), he took me over to this kiosk and pointed.  At this moment I realized my dream of sitting in a cozy chair, with soft music playing, while some gently massaged my feet was just that, a dream. Other than the fact there was a chair sitting there, I would not have guessed this was the place. The posters on the walls were very disturbing, blood leaching from skin, what does this have to do with my feet? I have to be honest, I was concerned. My odds in Malaysia haven’t been good with new experiences. Image

You may remember my hair cut (which is still growing out). Before I could leave the owner walked up and I took a seat. I have a semi-high pain tolerant, I can endure most things with little whining (I didn’t say no whining), but after a few minutes of have my foot massaged I was near tears, and whining, a lot. The foot masseuse told me she was only applying 10% pressure. I would bet lunch money she was enjoying my look of agony. I mentioned something about torture, she smiled and applied more pressure to my foot.

ImageThe masseuse, who is also the owner, asked if I was interested in cupping. I had never heard of this before so I asked if the posters where cupping and she said yes, and proudly told me all the advantages of cupping. I told her NO THANKS, there is blood involved. As I mentioned this kiosk is in middle of a store, with people walking around, looking at you. Cupping, blood, no shirt, nope, not likely to happen anytime soon. Plus, how do they sterilize the equipment? I told her no thank you; I just want to live through this.  She kept telling me how much better I would feel, yeah I was told I would feel better having a foot massage too.

Half an hour later, I leave and my feet have serious bruises, one week later I still have one on the top of my foot.

I now understand why everyone says you feel better after a Reflexology session, it’s because the torture stops, and yes, that feels better. I’m not sure if I’ll attempt this experience again, I’ve been told it will feel better next time. I’m pretty sure the guys in medieval times who were tortured would beg to differ; I personally think they would agree the only time torture feels better, is when it stops.

As my feet heal, and I avoid the Giant center, for fear the Reflexology lady will think I’m back for more, I will forge ahead and chalk this up to lessons learned in life, which include, listening to the little voice in your head when it yells, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!Image

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