Monday, February 24, 2014

The Feet, the Feet!

I debated on walking the 1-kilometer (.6 mile) to the foot massage salon but then thought better of it. It was scorching hot and the walk back over the rocky road would definitely undo my massage. So, I donned a motorcycle helmet and bribed Lipton to scooter me there.

The room was stifling in the salon. My first trial was to get the massage girl to turn on the AC. Sri Lanka has the highest cost of electricity in the world so it’s no wonder that shopkeepers use it sparingly. Thankfully they turned it on for me.

The two massage girls spoke no English and Lipton, my usual interpreter, had scootered back home, so I was on my own.

My Sinhala is marginal. About the level of a Montessori student, but with some hand gestures I can usually make do. Except these girls were Tamil and spoke Tamil with a little Sinhala thrown in. The only word I know in Tamil is Nandri – thank you, so I stuck to my Sinhala.

We determined that I wanted a 1hour foot massage with a head and shoulder massage for the last 15minutes. The girls giggled every time I spoke Sinhala. At least I was amusing!

The skin and bones girl sat down to work on my feet. Thinking she wasn’t strong enough for the job, I winced when she began. Her grip was like being in a vice. Strong!

Sitting in the big cushiony chair next to mine, the other girl tried to strike up a conversation. I learned she was 21 and had just come back from the pharmacy after buying slimming tablets. It was a struggle, but she learned I was from the US and had lived in Sri Lanka for 12 years.

The massage was excellent and cost RS 1,500 ($11 – a bargain compared to the US). The last 15 minutes, both girls took turns massaging my head and shoulders and then they attacked my arms and hands together. I was in heaven!

They asked if I would come back tomorrow. No, I said, not knowing how to say ‘soon’ so I waved my just-massaged arms indicating sometime in the next month. Maybe I’ll go in the morning when it’s cool and the walk won’t kill me!


Sweet Tamil girl.

Hands like vice grips doing a soft massage.

The chatty one.

Her hair tickled my toes!

Foot 'Comfot' Salon.


A quick stop at the local bakery
shop for 'short eats'.

The shop girls thought I was crazy taking photos!
Lipton says he can't change a light bulb without
me taking photos for Lucy's Buzz - true!

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