Before I start rambling on about my massage experience I think I need to explain that I’m not one of those women who is, let’s say, high maintenance.
The sad truth is I file my own nails and it takes me about 3 minutes. I don’t frequent the local nail bars, it seems that people spend an age getting their nails done, well not me, 3 minutes and I’m out the door.
A while ago I found myself at a wellness in the Czech Republic. A couple of hours from Prague, high up in the mountains the setting was beautiful. The building itself looked like it’d been used in a 1960’s james Bond film. Seriously I expected the staff to be wearing ski pants and smoking Marlboro cigarettes. They weren’t of course.
The people I travelled with were at a conference which left me with some free time to explore the surrounding area.
Now why would I be out traversing hills and gazing at lakes. Me. Naw. I decided as I was at a Wellness centre I was going to try a massage maybe. This was something else I’d never done. So approached the receptionist asking if I could book myself in for a massage.
She smiled and handed me a menu. I kid you not a ‘massage menu’ well I’d no clue, so I asked would she suggest a massage for me.
‘Hot stone is good’
Hot Stone it was so.
I was despatched to the bowels of this 1960’s film set where there were several long corridors with cold stone floors and I could hear myself walking as though I was alone down there. The final corridor was lined with green doors which were very obviously changing rooms.
The young man, sitting behind a desk at the very end of the corridor pointed me to my assigned door and told me that ‘Helga’ would be there soon.
I know what you’re thinking, the very same as I was thinking. Helga would be Scandinavian with perfect english and would of course have very deft hands that would massage all my aches and pains away.
Well we were both wrong. Helga as it turns out was not Scandinavian at all, I’ve no clue what she was or even if she was a she, she had tiny fingers which I doubted were deft at anything at all. She was an older lady dressed all in white, she even had white high heels on. A massage therapist in high heels. I was in eastern europe so I accept that women do almost everything in high heels.
Her uniform was incredibly tight and looked like it’s been stretched over some industrial support underwear. Her, not so natural red hair was back combed until it stood still, I’m sure she took it off at night.
‘Ruskie’ she shouted at me.
‘Ahh..english..I speak english’
She tutted at me, seriously she tutted out loud at me! Besides I don’t look Russian.
‘Undress’ she directed me. I was feeling decidedly uncomfortable.
‘Everythings off’ pointing her very short little finger at me.
I did as requested, ‘everthings’ I took off, except me drawers. There wasnt a chance I was going drawerless.
So wrapped in about twelve towels I followed her into the ‘treatment room’ there was a bed which I’m sure had been there since the war, the first one. Beside the bed was a vat with hot water and some smooth stones in it.
I struggled with all my towels to get up onto the treatment bed. It was a feat but I managed it.
‘OFF’ she shouted again.
I’ve no idea how she did it but in a second all my towels were gone and just one cover my dignity. Thankfully.
Her short finger massaged the back of my neck and shoulders, I kept my eyes closed so I could pretend that Helga looked like my imaginary Helga.
I shouldnt have been worried, I opened my eyes only to see Helga’s massive breasts above my head. I couldn’t see her face, they were so enormous, even worse I couldnt figure out what feat of engineering had them suspended just above my head.
So the stones were next, out they came, she ran a scaling stone up and down my arms, I was far too scared to complain so I endured the scalding. My legs and then torso.
Wellness my arse, I was having a nervous breakdown while being tortured by an Eastern European who clearly doesn’t like westeners.
She draped me in a towel and then places several very bloody hot stones in a row on my chest and proceeded to wrap me like a little mummy.
‘Sleep’ she growled over her shoulder as she left me alone in ‘treatment room’.
Sleep ! Sleep ! What the bloody hell did she mean Sleep. I was cooking like a feckin Christmas turkey. I was hot on the inside, due to my lady age, on the outside due to the hot stones. I couldn’t move, cause I was wrapped up like a mummy, all I could feel was the sweat running down my torso. Oh God I was going to die.
I could see the headlines ‘woman from Dublin cooked alive in a wellness center’
I could hear my neighbours saying ‘shur she looked grand before she left’.
Oddly I could feel myself dozing off. The terror of the lego haired woman was subsiding and sleep was enveloping me. Oh this was it, I’ve felt so relaxed in my life. Then just then as sleep took me over, I jerked, like I was falling from a great height.
Shit, the stones hit the floor with a great crash, they were all over the floor, I struggled to get free to retrieve them, unfortunately only managing to roll myself off the WW1 bed onto the stone floor too.
Oh I could hear her footsteps on the corridor, this was it, my terror returned as I lay helpless on the floor.
Why the hell was I so scared, I was a fifty something woman, I’d just tell her to get over herself and if that failed I could take her, if I ever got unraveled. Who was I kidding I couldn’t take her. Not sure Conor McGregor could take her.
There they were the white high heel shoes just in front of me face.
‘Hello’ I managed from me humiliating position.
She didn’t speak just grabbed me under my arms and hauled me back up on the bed. She was shaking, I though I’d upset her. She started to undo my towels and pat me down.
‘Ok wes finished’ she couldn’t even look at me, she was still shaking.
Feck she was laughing, the witch was laughing at me.
Next morning I went for a walk in the hills, a little less humilitating.
The Joy of a Stone Massage my arse..