Day 74 : “Ross, they won’t give me a towel”

29 September 2010

After 73 days on the road, Ross and I were in need of a bit of a steam, rub down and a couple of hours relaxing. Our guide Sun Ji found a place near where we were staying. Quite a grand looking building, professional looking staff and cheap as chips. Ideal we thought.

We were taken to a huge locker room where we had a little man each helping us getting changed. I was getting very confused as the little man was a) telling me to take everything off and b) not giving me a towel. A moment later a very naked and hairy Ross walks pass with his little man towards the baths. Sweet  Jesus, the panic set in as I too headed towards the baths passing numerous naked China men on route. I hooked up with Ross in one of the hot baths where we sat rocking and staring at the ceiling, looking anywhere but around the room. Question : why is it when someone says “don’t look right”, you look right ?  The sight of 5 Chinese men sitting by the side of the bath “hanging out” will haunt me for many years to come.

What is normal in some societies is not not necessarily normal in others. With this mind, we assumed that this must be an ancient tradition of the wealthy  men in China. Being open minded travellers, let’s just embrace the freedom of the experience. It’s just like eating something a bit different. We are not in Wimbledon now. Our open mindedness was  again tested when it came to rub down time. I found myself on the bench surrounded by 3 of the staff. Blimey, the only analogy I could possibly think of was paying for the top service at a local BP garage Car Wash. They were certainty comprehensive and thorough. I had it easy, I never knew what was coming next. As Ross appeared on the bench next to me a minute late, I gave him a very vocal running commentary of the current stage and level of panic.  Anticipation is worse right ?

Exhausted and disturbed we proceeded to the sauna then back to the hot baths. The don’t look right rule still applied but again was difficult to abide to. Looking back, we are now convinced this was an experience of high society and that of emperors in the past (honest). I will however, never be able to  look at Ross in the same way again.

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2 Responses to “Day 74 : “Ross, they won’t give me a towel””

  1. Brilliant!!!!!

  2. That photo is priceless.