Like a dog returning to its vomit, I went back to the Khmer Relief Spa for another massage. The lure of the 50% discount proved irresistible – the triumph of parsimony over pleasure. Happily, I can report that this time my experience was much less violent and I came out bruise-free. I was even able to open my eyes and look at the lotus flowers under the table
as my eyes weren’t screwed tightly shut in agony.
I went for the aromatherapy massage this time, on recommendation, and it was nowhere near as violent as the stress release massage – although there was still much more pressing and pummelling than I would have expected. There were a few other strange movements too – like moving my cheeks upwards and outwards, as though she was a horse trader checking my teeth.
The problem with a massage abroad is that you never know what’s coming next, and you’re constantly waiting for the next karate chop or handstand … even if it doesn’t happen.
The whole spa is lotus central
because they are such a zen flower, I suppose. They open them up artificially, folding each petal back to show the yellow centre,
or just folding a few back to retain the classic lotus shape, as in the bowl in the top photo – all very labour intensive, compared to bunging a bunch of daffs in a jug, which is my floral centrepiece of choice.
Other than indulging in a spot of masochistic massage, there are plenty of other things to do if you have too much time on your hands in Cambodia.
buying geckos to match your scarves and then creating an installation.
going to a bar with lounging-style seats
and then sitting and photographing your feet
taking photos of branded face masks – this lovely one is by 3M
taking a particular interest in the equal opportunities policy of building sites and photographing all the female navvies mixing cement, digging trenches and climbing up particularly rickety scaffolding.
Oh well, it could have been worse – I might have developed a taste for ‘happy pizza’, or got a tattoo, multiple piercings, a gigolo – my little peccadilloes seem harmless in comparison with what some other people get up to.