This is letter #2 from our traveling LMT, and intrepid gourmand…checkout that menu in her letter. Marybetts Sinclair, Corvallis LMT and Oregon School of Massage staff member, is teaching massage in Indonesia and Korea…and doing some adventuresome eating and throwing in some environmental observations. (You can find letter # 1 here )
Massage Shopping in Sumatra
While teaching in Medan, Sumatra, I went to get a massage with spa owners Andy and Lidia, and Wulan, Fifi Lim’s general manager and translator. We went first to a new-age looking spa with soft music, essential oils, organic looking wood decorations, and a fairly standard but expensive menu, including a “V-treatment” which treats the vaginal area with smoke…I am not making this up.
Tuina, the style she does, is vigorous, mildly painful, and is done through a cloth so no oil is used. So forget the soft lights, gentle touch and attention to your pain level, get ready for some bodywork! Part way through the massage, she applied 16 large glass cups which suction onto your back-the sensation was very strong and not unlike sticking your hand in a vaccuum tube- and each cup left a bruise the diameter of a softball on my back within a short time. She carried on a lively conversation with another Chinese masseur and his client throughout the treatment, who were just on the other side of a curtain. I , however, being a massageophile, loved it all, and left feeling mildly sore, bruised, but very relaxed…
Massage Innovation Hall of Fame
I do note with amusement a new product, advertised in the Air Asia flight magazine, for the New Gintell G-Bravo Massage Chair. The headline reads “OH! MY BUTT” and the creative folks that make it claim it is truly a technology breakthrough with the V-shaped track that makes it the first massage chair to provide in depth massage to your buttocks, ” that was once impossible to reach”. The ad is made complete by endorsements from 2 famous Asian actors/TV stars, who are obviously photoshopped in together.. Lucky for MT’s that there actually is no substitute for the human hand and heart!
And Now The Food
history. Since I have been here I have tried almost all of these foods:
-exotic fruits including durian, mangosteen, dragon fruit, star fruit and leechee nut fruit
-ginger-chocolate peanut brittle
-chicken feet simmered in a secret sauce
-red squishy squares of cowskin, which have been deep-fried then simmered in hot red sauce
-many items made with rice powder, including a deep-fried “chip” with peanuts embedded in it, and many pastries with this powder instead of flour
-fermented green sticky rice that smells just like baking yeast and can be kept for 2 or 3 days before it starts to turn to alcohol (sour taste)
-chicken heads, simmered until soft and then eaten as is: you crunch through the skull with your teeth and suck out the totally-tasty chicken brain inside (I did pass on this one)
-avocado and chocolate milk smoothie (here, avocado is a fruit)
-appetizer of battered and fried greens, served with a side of chili paste
-fish flavored crackers, prawn, shrimp or cuttlefish flavor
-small sections of chicken intestine skewered on a wooden stick
-a whole deep fried large fish, covered with a sweet palm sugar sauce and chunks of avocado, pineapple and papaya
-amazing drinks with shaved ice, coconut milk, fruit chunks and basil seeds on top, just one example.
-swallow nest soup (Someone pointed out a building of very small rooms that evidently is used to house swallows so their nests can be collected easily, and while tubing on a stream through a cave in Samarang 2 weeks ago, someone else also pointed out a ladder down into the cave from a hole up above, where people climb down to harvest the nests.)
years ago. Partying while Rome burns? Just a thought…take care and stay well until I see you again.