General and Travels04 Feb 2008 07:41 am

Spas, massages and pampering have always been popular in Thailand, and it seems the hip new thing this year is not hour long foot massages (how can anyone’s feet need this much massaging?), “invigorating” swedish massage nor even tinsel sewn into hair (seemingly only popular with Thai airline stewardessess) but Japanese facials.

Now, I understand that this immediately brings to mind some interesting thoughts, but fear not. Thailand is not yet so grotesque that they provide Japanese facials in full view at the newest biggest Western style mall on Phuket island.

Anyhow, since it’s just my mom and I, we are now able to fully indulge in these procedures, not having to worry about Mike and my father entertaining themselves with “Towers of Chang” (a particularly strong brand of beer) ice-core-filled, self-tapped 3 litre towers of beer that all the shopping centres here seem to have. Funny that.

So this morning we drove to the nearest mall, had a civilized cup of Starbucks, laughed at the temperatures in Canada (sorry guys) and then went for our facials.

It’s an exceedingly medical procedure, conducted by women with germ masks (maybe this is what makes it Japanese). We are laid out on what seem to be dentist chairs and then our faces are massaged, oiled up, soaped up (hey hey hey, not that kind of massage, okay?) and then the weird stuff starts.

A warm mist floats over your skin like a cloud at the top of a mountain. A weird vibrating pulsing wand is applied to areas. Conveniently, your eyes are closed throughout this. Then a strangely sucking sound and sensation. I prematurely feel triumphant, thinking the facial is drawing to an end and that “Japan is great, that new sucking thing takes all the pain out of facials…”

But I am too optimistic. The devil-woman starts to prod at my temples with something metallic at pores I did not know existed. I must have flinched, for she said (not asked, mind you) “It hurt.” She labours on. I’m unsure who is cursing my large pored skin more, me or her.

Suddenly she’s on my nose, poking and picking. I imagine this is what tattoos on the face must feel like. I have images of a open-sored bleeding face, people gathering outside the windows to the spa to see what remains of my visage.

It goes on for a long time, then ends, mercifully with a cool mist and cloth. To add insult to injury, I am given a head and shoulder massage. “Free!” says my pore punisher enthusiastically, but that only makes it worse as she all but gives me a oil handed swirly on my carefully straightened hair. (No small feat for me in this humidity, let me assure you)

Even as I write this, my mother is laughing at my hair, saying: “hahahhahaha…it’s three different styles at the back….hahahahah… it’s all ratty!!” Thanks, Mom.

Anyhow, after I straighten myself out and ensure all my pores have ceased hemmoraging, I do what only a frugal woman can. “Can you believe a 45 minute facial was only $14?” I say, amazedly, to my mother as I pay for both of ours together.

Of course, this was before her recent comments on my hair (which has probably been this way all day, regardless of the sad combing my torturess gave me at the spa) Maybe a $4 pedicure will make everything better…

One Response to “Holy God”

  1. on 05 Feb 2008 at 6:02 am DadinAfrica

    Chang Tower…..:-(