Tales from the road: the one with the couples massage
Another trip to china, this time escorted (we have a sales person based in HK). We go and do some meetings. Afterwards we go to dinner, he takes me to a mahjong place, we sit in a back room which is isolated and has a bell you ring for service. He explains to me that if you want to achieve something in china, you take the person out to dinner + mahjong, play for money, and just lose a bit. Sounds like a bribe to me, but ok. We have our dinner and walk out.
As we are walking down the street back towards our hotel (and he has been explaining the ways of china to me all night, from the standpoint of a HK citizen), he says "do you want to go in for a massage?". Um, no? what a weird thing to ask? is this normal? I don't want to offend him. "um, maybe?" i venture. He takes this a a whole-hearted endorsement, we walk into this place. Instructions are given. We wait.
We are now shown into this room, together. It has two massage-table type things, the ones where you face goes in a hole in the table. We take our shirts off (but no more!). 2 attendants walk in, each heads to one of us.
She says something to me that I interpret as "hey sailor", or maybe "thai or swedish", or I don't know. I mumble "ok?". She then starts hitting me. I mean whacking me across the back of the neck and slapping my head. This is very unpleasant, it must last only 3 seconds right? After several hundred hours (it seems), I grab her arm. "I'm done, that is enough massage". I put my shirt back on. Secretly I think they had a bet about how long they could hit me before I got irritated. I'm done, I walk out. My colleague joins me a few minutes later.
We never speak of this again.