I'm a connoisseur (or connaisseur) of spas. More specifically, a connoisseur of horrible spas.
Florence, Chien Way and I went for a post-event treat at Spa Indulge and I had the weirdest therapist.
Therapist: Are you single?
Me: Er, no, married with a kid.
Therapist: You use IUD?
Me: *stunned silence* What?
Therapist: IUD. You use IUD?
Me: Er, no...
Therapist: Ok. Because if you use IUD I cannot press your stomach (or did she say womb) too hard.
Me: *stunned silence*
Therapist: *both hands were massaging the side of my waist* Your here very hard.
Therapist: Yah, very hard.
Therapist: Yah, normally all my clients here very soft one. Yours very hard. You exercise?
(At this point, I'm not sure if she implying that my waist is "very hard" because I don't exercise or it's "hard" because I exercise.)
Me: Er... used to quite often. Now just do yoga.
Tell me, my friends, what should I say?
After the session, Florence and Chien Way asked how was my session. All I could think of was the IUD question and that they're a Spa Esprit wannabe.
Maybe I'm just suay but most of my spa experiences have been down right weird, disappointing, scary and frustrating. Here's a quick overview:
1. Singapore spas: pushy sales girls bugging you to buy package.
2. Luang Prabang, Laos--Lotus de Laos: On-suite shower is a place where I wouldn't want to hang my clothes in. Therapist slaps a scrub, i.e. yellow liquid with some bits of sand, on me. I shivered in that cold room for five minutes, decided enough was enough. Showered and walked out without completing my treatment. They insisted I continue. But I told them no way! They can't complain; I paid full price. Too miffed to kick up a big fuss. And worse thing was, they were recommended by the Lonely Planet!
3. Siem Reap, Cambodia: There're so many along the main street, so Jeanne and I just walked into one. Was herded behind a screen together with Jeanne, then asked to strip and wrap ourselves in towel. Came out, room was lined with mattresses on the floor and there were only Japanese men (and their giggling masseuse) in the room. At that point, Jeanne and I should have just walked out but we just went along with it. Stupid of us. Japanese guy next to Jeanne kept peering at her and Jeanne's therapist tried to cover her up with towel. Our masseuses weren't interested in massaging us. Hmm...
4. A spa at one of the biggest hotels in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: Masseuse asked me how come I gave her so little tips.
Terence says I should just avoid spas. He doesn't understand why I like to pay someone money to touch me all over. Anyhow, I've gone to enough bad spas to know which are the good ones:
My #1, all-time favorite: Divana Spa in Bangkok, Thailand
A close second: Spa Esprit, Singapore. But pushy sales girls are a standard issue here too.
And if you're ever in Siem Reap, Cambodia: Can't remember the name. Go to the one run by the Taiwanese lady.