What you think about when you’re getting a massage in Thailand

Massage in Thailand

Even when I was making a very good living, massages were not the kind of luxury I was ever willing to pay for. I’ve only ever had one real massage and that was a gift. All other times someone has rubbed my body with oil, it’s been pro bono.

So when I see things like spas or massage parlors, I ignore them by default. But since we got to Thailand, we’ve seen hundreds of places everywhere we go, and they are open at all hours. There are always people outside inviting you into their den of relaxation.

On our last day in Chiang Mai, we had a late flight out, so we had several hours to kill. Instead of spending all day eating (which for the record, I would be totally cool with), we decided to get massages.

A full body oil massage next door to where we’d had lunch was only 300 baht, which is less than $9. And it’s really hard to turn down a massage at that price. So I agreed.

And here is what was going through my head for the ensuing hour.

  1. This is a nice room. I expected something way more dingy.
  2. Though I guess it could double as a hostel if you remove the curtains between the beds.
  3. I hope they explain what we’re supposed to do, because I have no idea.
  4. Wait, why did they leave the curtains between my friend and I open? Do they think this is a couple’s massage?
  5. Let’s just close that right up before we get naked.
  6. Oh bra, too? Okay.
  7. Can I lay down already? Yeah I probably shouldn’t be standing here in my underwear when this lady comes in.
  8. It sucks that they don’t have the tables with the hole for the face. My neck is going to get tired of this.
  9. This massage is $8.47 so…
  10. How much should I tip? I read like 10% but that seems like so little.
  11. Ohh that feels good.
  12. Man if I’m paying $8.47, this lady is probably getting like $2.
  13. I need to tip more.
  14. She’s on the massage table isn’t she.
  15. Yup.
  16. God I can’t believe this poor woman is touching my disgusting sweaty traveler body for like $2.
  17. Heheh that tickles.
  18. Oh yup those curtains are open. This is now a couples massage.
  19. I wonder if my friend has noticed. When she does, she’s gonna get an eyeful.
  20. Whatever, my tits are nice.
  21. This feels amazing.
  22. I can’t believe I’m paying less than $10 for this.
  23. Oh my God, did I just hear someone say “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t”? Is this guy getting a happy ending in this room right now.
  24. He sounds like he’s from Texas and probably believes in conversion therapy.
  25. Americans ruin everything.
  26. Dear God, I hope it continues not to work.
  27. What if she accidentally understood that I wanted a happy ending? These curtains aren’t even drawn!
  28. I’m so fucking neurotic. I can’t even enjoy this massage.
  29. Whoa okay. Sitting up. Never done this before.
  30. This makes my legs hurt. But I’m going to feel brand new after this.
  31. Why is she holding my hand?
  32. Wait, what are you doing to my arms? Is this the Thai portion of the massage?
  33. I don’t bend this way!
  34. My legs… I haven’t done a sit-up in 7 years.
  35. This is the first massage I’ve ever had that doesn’t turn me on.
  36. Maybe that’s because I’m scared of hearing this guy get jacked off a few feet away.
  37. I wonder if these people would sponsor my visa if I agree to come here once a week for the rest of the year.
  38. Aww it’s over? Damn. That was awesome.
  39. Oh wait. We’re covered in oil, and we already checked out of our hotel. Didn’t think this one through.