Profiles – #25, #19, #31…

23 Oct

The ubiquitous membership card – they are all over China.  Restaurants, manicures, gyms, chain stores even banks have gold cards and platinum cards and discount cards and point cards.  Getting the best deal is a matter of paramount importance.  The most important from my viewpoint is the card for my massage place.

I have been loyal to a single store for close to three years now.  It is between my house and my office (and since I walk, that means it is close).  I have tried the foot massages and body massages and my current self prescription is a 90 minute Chinese style massage.

Massages are even better on the beach - Here's me in Thailand during Chinese New Year

The masseuse’s all have numbers – #25, #19, #31…  They also have assigned English names, but in the post massage state it is hard enough to remember anything.  My favorite masseuse of all time was #25 (Alex).  I exclusively used him pretty much biweekly for over a year.  He knew my body inside and out.  From the massage he could tell my mood, how work was going, if I was exercising too much and even if my stomach was bothering me.  A true master at his craft. 

Since we saw each other with such regularity I started to ask questions – he had studied massage officially for a period of time, had been massaging for 10 years now, his girlfriend was also a masseuse…

About four months ago when I tried to book a massage they told me he was “sick.”  I said, ok and suggested another individual.  The next time, “he wasn’t working on the weekend.”  The third time I received the same type of non-committal excuse I finally figured that he had left – jumped to another shop or went back to his hometown.

I miss him, #25.  I’ve gone back since, but less regularly.  It’s more of a gamble – not knowing if my neck will be sore the next day or if my lower back will feel great or just so-so.  I have no way to contact him, but I hope wherever he is, he is still giving massages.  His talent helped balance me during the time we knew each other and for that, I am grateful.

Anyone else get massages regularly?

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2 Responses to “Profiles – #25, #19, #31…”

  1. erica @ expatriababy October 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    I no longer get massages regularly, and let me tell you, it is one of the things I most miss from China. But alas, motherhood and prohibitively expensive spa treatments make them a special, once in a while treat. Sigh.

    • gkm2011 October 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

      I am not looking forward to the day when massages change from a necessity to a luxury. In lieu, I am enjoying each one as they come!

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