February 17, 2010

Feeling a little too stiff after a long bus ride?

Khmer Massage. Three dollars to the hour. Dim room with three beds and a fan, tiny pajama pants to borrow, and a young Khmer woman ready to inflict all sorts of pain. First she pushes, then she prods, pokes and jabs your whole body, then she momentarily cuts off circulation to your legs (as a yogi, this sounds good in theory) before continuing to use her rolling pin arms to flatten your quadraceps. No part of her body goes unused in this gymnastic show of massage talent. Before you know it, she's got you twisted up and her knees are digging into your hamstrings, her fingers into your feet and her body weight is stretching your hip flexors. Once you've turned onto your stomach, the real fun begins. Her sharp heels seek out any tenderness with her standing body weight and the painful sensation fires nerves all over. Pain centers located, rubbed, smashed and thoroughly worked on, She begins your career as a contortionist by elongating your spine, pop-pop-popping your joints and practically tossing your Raggedy-Anne body around the room.

At the end, loose, exhausted and soaked in sweat, you open your eyes and she's there giggling at you, waiting for the $3 you agreed on.