A few weeks ago I bought a deal from Living Social for Chiang Mai Thai, a Thai Massage place not too far from me (is anyone else finding some of these ‘deal’ sites impossible in terms of getting appointments and once your there, getting a good level of service?).
I have been dying to try some traditional Thai massage out for a while now so rather excitedly booked an appointment. Well…it was HARD work. You have to call a mobile number and I spoke to them so many times to confirm and re-confirm. It was difficult communicating. Eventually it was sorted.
So I get to Chiang Mai Thai massage and the place is upstairs, opposite a travel agents. It’s really quite odd once you get in there – it’s like you’ve stepped back in time and there were 3-4 beds in this room (same place as the waiting area and reception) with just medical screens separating them. Hmm.
Obviously with just screens in place there’s plenty of disturbances – a doorbell jingles when someone walks in. Luckily this was NOT the place for massages, or at least not for mine. They have a few rooms across the hall.
Anyway so I’m sat there and naturally, they have no record of my appointment!
Frustrating but they said they could fit me in anyway.
Meanwhile there are lots of customers coming in and asking if they could get an last minute appointment – all burly middle aged men – too many staring and smiling at me quite frankly – and the staff there were somewhat…friendly? Huggy? Strokey?
Ok maybe I’m being picky but what I’m saying is – I didn’t think it was that professional to have people feeling each other up in front of customers and I didn’t feel at all comfortable.
To the massage! Now – I think there was some kind of electricity problem so the lady had to light some candles. My appointment was supposed to start at 5.15, she spent so long looking for tea lights it was 5.30 before anything happened (and it finished at 6.05 so…do the math!).
Now – the massage itself was skilful, it was quite – ok a very HARD massage and by hard I mean I wanted to shake and cry a bit in the corner of the room after some of her moves.
Nevertheless – I can see why it does appeal to the burly blokes, it’s really hard going, deep tissue massage! Like all her might pressed into my thigh – OUCH. (I’m lying there thinking, did I remove necessary body hair? No.)
I can’t fault the massage itself but the atmosphere was off. People kept calling to my massage lady through the door during the massage so obviously I couldn’t relax.
So that was all ok then half way through – I don’t know why, but they swapped people. Perhaps because my appointment hadn’t officially been accounted for – but once again, it’s disruptive.
Second lady was very good too, she really really did some painful things to my back.
Thai massage is quite different in that they will crawl on top of you, they will move you round a bit (had an urge to keep my legs shut but had to have them open for some of the massage – eek!).
Then at the end – horror of horrors – the lady had to sit behind me as she moved my arms about in an attempt to crack my shoulders. She did something weird which made my neck crack (EEK!).
She then held both of my arms behind me and pulled as she used her feet to kick my back/shoulders out…uh huh.
Let’s think about this for a moment. For a man this is no problem. But ladies remove bras when getting massages. If both your arms are behind you, you have to let go of the towel. If you have to let go of the towel then chi-chis are on full display. And if she’s pushing your back then not only are the chi-chis free, they are being forcibly thrust into the air. Oh how I cringed and wanted her to stop.
All done, there was one more problem – they couldn’t see me on the Living Social records. After much faff, I was found but there was much squawking going on as I wondered if I would be charged full price for having my dignity removed.
There is definitely a certain clientele that likes this massage place and that works for them, so great, because they are nice ladies. But it’s really not for someone like me, still a little salon shy who wants things to be professional and as smooth as possible.
Overall, I would rate this experience as more traumatic than going to the dentist and less traumatic then having to have dinner with the mother-in-law.
I paid £18 for this massage which was an offer price from Living Social.