A few years ago I visited Biarritz, France. My room mate and I found ridiculously cheap airfare to the town back when we lived in London (oh, how I miss RyanAir!) and decided to spend a long weekend getting pampered and hanging out at the beach. We booked massages, scrubs, body wraps etc at an overpriced spa along the sea.
Biarritz is pretty.
When we arrived at the spa, we realized we were completely out of our element – the women and men who were there were of the millionaire variety, and everyone was staring at us like we had just walked in from Jerry Springer. Other than that, the first part of our spa day was pretty uneventful. We hung around in a sauna, had some facials down… in fact, it was getting pretty boring…
Until I had to strip down.
The weirdness started with the body scrub / seaweed wrap. Halfway through the process, I began to feel like a very expensive piece of meat – I was rubbed down with salt, basted with oil, covered in seaweed and wrapped in tinfoil and placed into an oven of sorts. Creepy.
After spending an hour being made into a rather delectable cut of meat, it was time for my massage. Per normal (American) massage protocol, I donned the paper underwear they had provided and laid a towel across my ass for extra coverage (because let’s face it – that paper underwear doesn’t cover SHIT).
When I was ready, a rather large, foreboding looking masseuse came into the room. She took one look at the towel I had draped over my ass, cackled in an extremely evil way, whipped the towel off, then smacked my butt for good measure.
Smacked. My. Butt.
* Not my masseuse – she had more facial hair than this.
After that little incident, the massage went along just fine… until the masseuse motioned for me to turn over onto my back. Pardon? You really want me to turn over – completely topless?! Needless to say, there was a bit of a language barrier – she didn’t understand my concept of modesty (this was France, after all) and pretty much pushed me onto my back with a shake of her head and a roll of the eyes that pretty much said “Stupide Americain!”
I was a little freaked out, but figured when in Rome, I may as well let the scary masseuse see my chest. YOLO.
It took me a few minutes to let go of my modesty issues and all was well again… until la messeause began to squirt hot oil all over my naked chest. At first I thought this was a mistake, and then I realized it wasn’t. I went into a state of sheer terror, screaming “NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!” in my head, trying to figure out a way to escape this terrible situation.
…And then she did it… she began massaging my chest. As in, the type of chest massage that should only ever be done by your boyfriend/husband/significant other.
Needless to say, I was shocked. So shocked in fact, that I began laughing hysterically …and I couldn’t stop. No matter how hard I tried, I could not control my laughter. I laughed so hard that the masseuse had to stop what she was doing… in fact, I laughed so hard that my room mate could hear me outside of the room.
I inevitably scared my masseuse who looked at me like *I* was some sort of sicko (excuse me – I’m not the breast massager here!) and very abruptly ended the massage and pretty much booted me out of the room.
When I came out, my room mate was looking at me curiously and asked why I was laughing so hard, so I clued her in and warned her to not be surprised when they started massaging her chest.
She was called in for her massage, so I went to shower and change into my clothing. About 30 minutes into her massage, I begin to hear her laughing hysterically… and five minutes later, she came out, followed by the disgusted masseuse.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend booking a massage in France (unless you enjoy getting molested). I would, however, recommend visiting Biarritz. It’s pretty.