I just went for a foot massage. It’s a uniquely Chinese experience. Foot massage is my secret guilty pleasure on tours to China. I genuinely believe that it helps you to sleep. It was a habit I picked up when I was flying to Hong Kong regularly with Air New Zealand.
So what’s different about a foot massage in China? First of all it tends not to be in some sort of elegant salon but instead in somebody’s front room. There is no piped music and no pretty pictures, just blank walls and a TV. They don’t view it as a pleasure so much as simply something important that you do in life, part of your ongoing bodily maintenance program. The lady who just did my feet did it while watching Kung Fu on TV and answering her mobile phone, and there were no holds barred. A proper Chinese foot massage is a fairly painful experience. You hover on the edge of screaming for quite some time. What I love is that there is no messing around. You sit down they stick your feet in a bucket, and then they rip them to bits. They don’t waste time with all the fancy shmancy stuff that costs a fortune. I just paid £6 including tip and now I’m going to bed, and I will sleep like a puppy. Good night
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I once sat next to the husband whilst he had one in Vietnam that made him cry. It was also in someone’s “good room” complete with altar adorned with incense and burning cigarettes upended in the sand…
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