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Allepey. Can I relax now?

Written on: Friday May 8th, 2009

A journal entry from: India

I stood awkwardly in a room with a small Indian woman, wondering if I need remove any of my clothing.
She held out the small loin cloth.
I see.
Why not? We're all friends here... now. And so began the long awaited Indian ayurvedic massage we've been hearing so much about.
After watching me strip down, she... applied? the loin cloth and sat me on a small stool. Pouring oil onto my head, she began scratching at it madly, fingers and hair whipping me wildly in the face. I tried not to burst out laughing, as I was obviously caught off gaurd by this chosen bold first move. It became harder to supress the giggles as the next technique involved was, I'm not joking, repeatedly limp-hand slapping my head and face. If I hadn't been receiving the same treatment, I would've sworn I heard Jenica being slapped with fish in the room next to me...
Finally it was time to lay myself on the solid wooden table for the body portion. As madness of movement ensued, lips pursed tighter to supress a smile, and openess of mind fought hard to find relaxation... I then discovered a new definition of "struggle". That is the scene that follows instruction to turn over while laying naked on a polished wooden surface drenched in oil. Don't bother trying to picture it. All I could think about for the duration of the massage was how I would remove myself from said table without providing a show of naked acrobatics or sustaining serious slip and slide injuries. She at last laid down a final round of full body limp-hand slapping, and that was that. That was that until she directed me to what I had thought was the linen cupboard, and told me to climb inside. I discovered a new new definition of "struggle". That is being loin-clothed and stuffed into a small cupboard pumped full of hot steam in India in the summertime. Near death, I swear that my skin, which has been consistantly dripping with sweat for the last month, looked up at me pleadingly. This is our life now, I told it.
Perhaps not as relaxing as one would hope, it was certainly a fun and entertaining cultural experience!

Really this blog was suppose to be about the two day backwater cruise on a rice barge turned houseboat that we just finished. The experience is listed as one of Lonely Planet's top 10 things to do before you die. However, I think that some experiences, like watching a monsoon thunder and lightening show from a rice barge, are simply unable to be translated. I will add a few pictures of our time on the water, but I'm sure those will fall flat too, it was amazing!


From Your other Dad on May 8th, 2009

Crazy! I laughed out loud at this one!

From Leanne on May 8th, 2009

I laughed out loud at your description of the massage! The only thing that could perhaps top that is if the little massage lady had Lorne and Vern for customers. They would probably have to go and pick up a few things at Copper Island.

From Jen on May 9th, 2009

You have no idea how hard this made me laugh... incredible description Nellers! Sounds like this trip has been quite the adventure so far! I miss you!

From Glenda on May 9th, 2009

Nala, you have such away of describing things. Your great and I must say I laughed so hard I had tears. I hope the Invemere Spa doesn't incorporate anything like this. Not sure how you just didn't die laughing.

From keri on May 11th, 2009

I laughed hysterically!!! Still laughing....."this is life now" Oh dear! Naked, oily, slapped around and sweaty...all things we try to avoid....how much did you pay for this experience? Thanks for sharing!

From kev on May 12th, 2009

SLAPPED WITH A FISH...GENIUS!!! You just made my week. Hilarious... makes India beautiful in its own special way, doesn't it? Glad to hear you're laughing

From Carlyn on May 13th, 2009

Soooo funny. I can't believe the two of you went through this. The "linen cupboard" is stupidly small, I wish I could have been watching you go through this minus the naked part.