Unfortunately, the women who offer these massages on the shoreline or on the cliffs are typically really old ladies who are not the cleanest people in the world and while I love immersing myself in the culture and truly do like interacting with the locals, they hound you about a massage even when you don't want one which becomes quite annoying. Most of my time on the beach was spent faking that I was asleep :)
Before we left the land of Oz, we decided to get a massage in a place we passed at the local shopping mall we visited. Below are a few letters to let these people know what we thought of our experiences:
To the Asian guy who gave me a massage in Australia:
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful full body massage you gave me while I was visting the Gold Coast on my honeymoon in April. $60 for a 60 min massage is pretty typical of the price we pay in the states and you did great considering it was a 'walk in' joint.
I do, however, want to apologize for my husband. I guess having 'rooms' that are really only a bed with curtains between them might not be the greatest idea when you have customers who don't appreciate your services. At first I didn't think anything of it when I heard him say a couple times that his girl was pushing too hard on him. That is really unusual considering he usually likes deep tissue massages. And maybe she didn't realize that he had just pulled his back surfing the day before which was why he was trying to get the muscles worked out. Instead, he felt like she was reinjuring him instead of helping.
I felt really bad for her once he finally sat up in the middle of the massage and told her that he was done and wanted her to stop. He tried to maintain his patience and be polite. But when your manager came in to see what all the fuss was about, he couldn't keep it in anymore and just had to say that 'she didn't know what she was doing' and she shouldn't be giving massages. You really didn't need to keep apologizing for her. I felt bad that I think he almost made her cry. It wasn't your fault and you did a fabulous job on me so no worries.
Thankfully, I found my hubby shopping down the mall and just let him vent for a few minutes about what a sucky job she did on him. Next time, I'll just come by myself :)
To the two young ladies who work at the Balinese massage parlor we stopped in on our first night in Bali:
How can we ever thank you for the fabulous job you did when we stopped in for a massage during our honeymoon? My husband had a horrible experience in Australia the day before and after a six hour plane ride, we were so excited to stroll past your shop just around the corner from our hotel. Though your massage was about $25 for an hour, which was definitely more than the lovely old woman on the beach was offering, it was way worth it!
I would say you both had magic hands. I must admit that I wasn't totally excited about *every* part of the 'Balinese' massage though. I am not a fan of having the balls of my feet slammed against with your fist. And the slapping sound I heard as you smacked my back at that one point was not anything I'd ever heard before whilst getting a massage. It was also interesting to see you try to stretch my legs in ways that made me believe you thought I was a Gumby doll. Unfortunately, I'm just not that flexible.
But regardless, I still felt great afterwards and my husband was feeling totally restored and repaired at this point. It was a great end to our first night in Bali.
Kind of a bummer that we came back a couple nights later and you both weren't working :( We ended up with a guy and girl that didn't quite meet up to the standard you had set. By that point, I was truly over the whole massage experience in this part of the world. Mr Fix It was not impressing me with these massages he raved about. Oh well. At least we had *one* good experience abroad...so thanks for that!
To the old woman who wouldn't leave me alone while I was sunbathing at Bingin's beach:
I appreciate that you make your living by preying upon all the people who frequent the little eatery up there on the cliff top. It was nice to have a place to grab some grub and lounge around for a few hours while my husband was out surfing in the water. It was not so nice however to have you continually 'pinch' me in an effort to entice me into employing your services for a 'may-sauge'. Really? Pinching my arm up and down while I am trying to listen to my ipod and lay on a mat is not my idea of relaxation. Maybe that's your idea of a massage but definitely nothing I've ever experienced before.
I should have just given you $5 to get you to leave me alone and go away, but I was trying to be polite. Thankfully, Mr Fix It did not make me go back there again the next day when he went to surf. Lounging by my resort infinity pool was way more enjoyable than being attacked by the likes of sand crabs who think they are masseuses.
I like doing this (above) as opposed to this (below)
Kuta Beach Massages Source
At our final resort at the Blue Point Bay Villas, we scheduled a couples massage at what was truly a resort type spa...while not the greatest full body massage I've ever received, it was at least decent. However, I felt the 2 ladies who were running their hands all over me and Mr Fix It's body were maybe just a little too friendly. The woman who was massaging me gave me my first ever experience of a breast massage...something that most masseuses I've worked with have never done before. When I mentioned it to Mr Fix It as we left the spa, he indicated that his lady also got a little touchy feely and came very close to his manhood at least one or two times to where he tightened up a bit wondering if he was going to be offered a 'happy ending'?
This (above) was not as relaxing to me as this (below)
Source: Blue Point Bay Villas
We ended our honeymoon with one final attempt at the Bali massage experience by getting a 30 minute head, neck and foot massage in the airport in Denpasar. That was actually not that bad and you can't complain about getting a massage while stuck in an airport :)
TODAY'S TIP: Don't think that one culture's idea of relaxation will translate well into another culture!