The long-awaited massage
As part of my job as a journalist, I used to review spas. Tough life, I know, but someone has to do it. And, as spas in Dubai grew exponentially in the boom years, I had an awful lot of spa treatments, culminating in a weeks’ spa tour of Thailand that saw me having four hours of treatments a day. While utterly wonderful, it left me believing that there is such a thing as too many massages.
Some days, I spent more time naked and covered with oil than I did clothed.
After that trip, I delegated all spa testing to my staff and spent the rest of my days anchored firmly to my desk, venturing out only to interview men I quite fancied the look of. Gordon Ramsay and CNN’s Riz Khan spring to mind.
Still, about three years ago, I decided I was ready for another massage. I had a knot in my back that could have benefited from a little rub-down. I finally got that massage today – having kids gives you that kind of time scale when it comes to being self-indulgent.
I’d intended to book something at the nearby fancy Asian spa but, since the days when I last paid for a massage, prices have gone through the roof. Did I really want to blow the best part of £100 in 50 minutes?
Then I remembered the massage room at the dodgy nail salon. £30 for an hour – and the lady who did it, Glenda, was as good as any expensive Asian spa, even if she squished the air out of my lungs and out of my mouth with a little “pah” each time she ran her hands up my back with the force of a 10-tonne truck.
As I lay there, squirming at times, I got thinking about spas. In many ways, they’re the same as hairdressers: it doesn’t matter how posh the surroundings; how fancy the uniforms; how cutting-edge the products. All that matters is the skill of the therapist who treats you on the day. And, in Glenda, I struck gold.
I won’t be leaving it another three years.