Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The perfect rub

Getting a Chinese massage over here is like a weekly must-do, as it (most of the time) is quite good, and also, cheap! A few interesting side notes I have noticed about Chinese massages however are:

1. Why to girls always get a male massurs and guys always get a girl?

2. How the cheap '68 kuai/hour' easily snowballs into 108 if you want to buy all those extra things that they offer you. Just the other week in Dalian our 1.5 hour massage cost 88 kuai, although during the massage, we were offered some additional:

-massage clothes (looked like a white PJ), 10 kuai.
-Some special back rub 20 kuai
-bath salt in our foot bath water, 10 kuai.

We turned everything down and were looked at as we were cheap bastards. Sure, maybe we were but come on. 10 kuai for some white, paper PJ? I don't think so!

3. Why are massage benches always too short for me? (the last 3 times my feet have been sticking out, to every one's amusement)

4. Why do guys always want to massage your belly?! During my last massage I tried to act all grown up and held my breath for what felt like eternity, until I simply couldn't take it anymore and exploded in a laugh-attack (which turned out to be contagious -soon my masseur was laughing as much too). Come on!! It's the most ticklish spot, no matter how much u try and 'relax'.

5. Why do so many Chinese people that go to a massage spend the whole 1.5 hour on their cellphone? Why, or why, why why?!?!??!? I wish cellphones were BANNED at massage places/spas. I was so annoyed last time and when I listened in on the conversation, I wasn't one bit impressed. A guy, one the phone with what must have been his girlfriend:

"Oh, is it boring to watch TV... well why don't you watch a DVD. Come on, there are many good DVDs... yes there are. Or TV programs. Well OK... just turn the TV off then. and what did you eat today... oh... only that.... oh... how boring. Oh.... oh.... oh..................."

And so it went on for 1 + hour.... Bloody hell!?

Except for those little 'details' I think massages over here are greeeeeeeat! Although stick to those cheap ones. More expensive doesn't mean 'better' at least not in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoy them so much; I only wish I did, as they could be a great way to relax. But I don't like massages. I hate them, actually. When I first arrived here, my host took me for a massage, kind of a "girls' outing" thing. I didn't have the courage to say, "no actually, I really don't want to do this, thanks anyway." This being China, of course, she didn't ask: I was expected to just go along with the program.

My host is very kind to me and meant to welcome me with a special treat. It's too bad I couldn't feel that way about it!

Anonymous said...

Jonna - It's very common for locals to turn down every extra, but you can't blame them for trying to upsell. I don't think you look cheap, but at the same time they're disappointed not to get the extra fee.

I think everyone has sensitive areas. Some people find the feet ticklish instead of the stomach. But I agree it's not what I consider a common area for massage.

And look, we both posted about the same annoying noise pollution today! I feel your pain, especially when the conversation is as mundane as that. But you might have had a different view if they were talking about something a little more exciting. Sadly I think that's exactly the nature of many conversations between gf and bf here because they often don't actually have much to say and are only together for practical reasons rather than true love.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious, pple there enjoy getting massages from the opposite sex. I can understand for the guys, but why would a girl want a male masseuse. I think as a female i would enjoy one from a female. That's just odd!
You should be careful, don't get taken advantage off.

Unknown said...

I believe the male/female thing is about yin/yang, its supposed to be healthier to be massaged by the opposite sex.

Jonna Wibelius said...

flyingfish -shame that u dislike massages... because they r really great. there are many different kinds though, have u tried? Blind man massage is quite harsh, so if u don't like that 'soft rub' maybe u should go for that. or, simply have a foot massage. You'll feel like you're flying when you're walking out of there. It's heaven for tired feet!

Woai -haha yeah we sure both did a bit of a rant of people polluting places with noise.. funny! Actually, today on the train from SH-SZ, a man behind me started watching/listening to a music video/Chinese opera-something on his iPod, on a veeeery loud volume. It took less than 30 seconds before the Chinese business man seated next to me turned around and asked him to turn it down. I just stared at him in astonishment... Maybe next time I'll try the same thing,although something tells me it won't work when it is me...

anonymous: it wasn't like a soft oil-massage if that's what u think. I was fully dressed (in jeans actually -not to b recommended) but yeah, it's still a bit... ehum, especially when they touch parts like your belly, or the lower back. I don't want my bum rubbed by some dude!!! Actually, I don't want my bum rubbed by any kind of masseur.

matthewmyer -u r probably right... I wonder if they would find it strange if I asked for a girl next time?

Anonymous said...

At the advice of one of my friends I actually went in and tried the fire-cup massage this year. Talk about uncomfortable. I tend to believe that the a massage should feel good when you're getting it, not just be "good for you".

I had huge red welts on my back for almost 2 weeks. My wife wouldn't touch me for fear of hurting me.

Kate said...

I want to get one but I am nervous so- question time!

what do you wear?
do you know any good ones in Shanghai?
how does one avoid The Sexy Massage?
what kind of cost should I probs expect?

Anonymous said...

Really? I think a laowai asking them to be quiet would work even better. Give it a try then report back to us.

yuyang said...

i have never been to that place,i think i never will.
all the news and people tell me that massage is "dirty":/

Jonna Wibelius said...

Josh -fire cup massage?! How does that work? Is it the same as cupping? Sounds kind of ...unsafe?!

Kate -there are massage places everywhere in Shanghai! Walk around Hengshan Lu/Gao'an Lu and just pick and choose. U can wear normal clothes although if u choose full body massage maybe comfy pants is a better option than tight jeans...?! :) 'Sexy massage'?! I don't think u have to worry!! Avoid Tong ren and Julu Lu and u should be fine.. ;)

Woai -Oki, just have to work up some guts first.

Yuyang -dirty?! In what way? I've never felt dirty after a massage, especially not a foot massage!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I got these fire cups once.

We had some party around noon with me getting embarrassing drunk, and then suddenly I was getting cups attached to my back. It felt cool right then, but the marks is hideous and my back felt like someone had been step dancing on it the next day.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Emil -so all that talk about 'scraping and cupping don't hurt at all' is just bullsh***? Glad I've never tried it then.

Anonymous said...

The fire cups are definitely uncomfortable and many people have found it painful.

I wouldn't call it "unsafe", just not all that it's cracked up to be. I actually did a post on it that you might enjoy if you're interested.