Aching legs, aching backs, aching feet and sign in the hotel advertising massages. Ahhhh...relief, a mere phone call away. After checking into the hotel at the end of our Turkish tour, my partner and I sat by the pool for the better part of the afternoon. The beautiful sunshine, crystal blue water and the ocean view from the lounging area provided the perfect place to rest after seeing so much and absorbing so many stories.
After a nap and a shower, I called the front desk to order two massages as a way to thank my traveling partner for enduring the two 10 hour overnight bus rides to and from the interior of the country, and the miles of walking around ancient ruins, and for his extreme good nature through it all. We waited eagerly.
Perhaps I should have put a stop to it earlier... perhaps he should have as well. But no, neither of us made any move to stop this train wreck of a massage from happening. We didn't stop it when they went to the kitchen to get olive oil because they did not bring any of their own, we didn't stop it when the children they brought made a racket, we didn't stop it when we smelt the alcohol on their breathes, we didn't stop it when we suspected a lack of training on their part. No indeed, we can not really complain too much - the signs were there.
A husband and wife team - actually an entire family complete with four boys. FOUR BOYS! The boys entertained themselves in the room next door and delighted us with the relaxing sounds of Foosball, weight lifting, and shouts that only young brothers know how to make. The woman who was working on my partner kept going out to tell her children to be quiet.
The man who worked on me began on my legs and spent the majority of time rubbing them back to life. As he worked his way up my back, I began to get the feeling that perhaps he was not an actual massage therapist. This was confirmed when he started to lazily draw circles on my back with the copious amounts of olive oil. You know those circles ladies... the ones men make on your back early in the morning? Ah... yeah.
He continued on my front without much concern for my exposed body or the open door, or the noise from the children. As he worked his way around my breast, clearly not quite sure what to do - looking to his wife for some guidance - I decided to just relax and roll with it. I was committed after all and hopefully the woman was an actual massage therapist and my partner was getting a wonderful massage...at least this was my hope.
But my partner fared far worse! The wonderful gift I meant to give him...The gift of a relaxing moment when all his aches and pain could drift away...turned into a full fledged groping.
The smell of alcohol on her breath filled my partner's nostrils, and her strong hands reached into ever crook and crannie they could find. The bathing suit he wore meant nothing to the woman who reached under and went over in every way. Her hands pushed and pulled everything on him from his face to his groin.
Upon the table, the woman climbed and straddled my partner's head to do a full body rub from the chest to the thighs... He made the mistake of opening his eyes and spying her amble bosom in his face as she began to work her way down his body.
Neither of us moved when they left - quite frankly the man was in the middle of my shoulders; I thought he was coming back! I was left unfinished and my partner too well done! He reported she knew how to give a real massage and did at least work on his aching areas relieving them of some pain.
Noisy children, boozie masseurs, full body groping with the kitchen's olive oil... and I got to pay for all that in American dollars. No good deed goes unpunished, so the saying goes.
Next stop Greece!