Nearly everyone I've ever spoken to who's been to Thailand says, "Oh! When you go, you've got to get a Thai massage, they're AMAZING and like only five dollars!!!" So while we were in Hong Kong, as my feet swelled and hurt from so much walking and my backache strengthened from lugging my camera around all day, I told myself to be patient, to wait for Thai massage in Bangkok. All would be put right. Today we finally found a spot and asked for foot massage and Thai massage – nearly two hours of massage for 300 baht each, or ~US$7. You'd think I would have enjoyed it. You'd think I would be happy now. But no, if there's anyone who's such an over-thinker/worrier that she'd worry during a massage, that would be me!!
First, I've noticed I've been getting lots of little bruises on my arms and legs during the trip, which happens to me whenever I don't pay enough attention to what I'm eating. Plus I just bruise easily no matter what. So when the masseuse went to town on my feet and legs for the foot massage, all I could think was, "Oh no! I'm going to get more bruises!" This concern distracted me for quite some time, until she massaged near my kneecap, which prompted a string of "kneecap dislocation" scenarios in my brain, all ending with me in a strange Thai hospital having my kneecap re-located, while screaming in pain and trying to explain to Jason where I'd saved the electronic receipt for our travel health insurance on my laptop.
Then we moved from foot massage into another room for Thai massage. Again with the pain, again with my worries about bruises, until she started pushing and pulling my limbs. As she pressed the sides of my skull I thought about something I read once about how you can kill someone by pushing on the soft spot near their temple. What if she pushed there, by accident? How qualified was she, really, if they only charged $7?!
As she worked around the vertebrae of my neck, all I could think was: my neck is small! What if it's smaller than she realizes and she accidentally breaks it and I'm dead here on the mat while Jason is happily massaged and relaxed next door?! When she pulled my toe to crack it, I thought it might break. When she bent my back, I thought I'd pulled a stomach muscle. I was certain she'd torn my hamstring when she yanked me forward, but it managed to snap back into place when she released me. I just kept thinking about how I'd never run again, maybe never even walk! All because I was greedy for a Thai massage…
When it was over, she folded her hands and did a wai, a Thai bow, and thanked me. Amazingly I could still move. Even more amazingly, Jason was all smiles. "That was good," he said, as we made our way to the exit. I didn't say anything at all.