Sunday, May 11, 2008

Masseuse

I am addicted to Thai Massage.

tradition

The hotel I am staying offers traditional massage. Every two weeks, for almost a year, my body craves for this addiction. Their masseuses range from young to not-so young, slim to not-so slim, pretty to not-so much. Just choose what you prefer. I tried the services of at least two masseuses until I met Khun Malai, from then on, I am her regular customer.

Khun Malai is the oldest masseuse. She had a shy smile, spoke in little and broken English, and her kindness exuded out of her. Every time she massaged me, I can feel that she treat me as her son. And I guess that’s what my other officemates felt too. She really took her time when doing her services, she was never in a hurry and the next thing you’ll know is that 2 hours had already passed.

Being the oldest, she had the least or the last one to be picked by customers, especially by the younger or foreign ones. I can still remember the time when our group had a drinking session by the pool and some younger masseuses asked us not to throw the cans as they will give it to Khun Malai (I didn’t know her yet). Of course, we complied. Out of jest, we made a deal that we should only get the services on Khun Malai as a way of helping her. Fortunately for all of us, we had a great deal. Funny but in one’s month time, Khun Malai was named as the top masseuse of sort by the hotel.

And she never fails to bring some souvenirs / native delicacies from the places she’s been. A gesture I found sweet and heartwarming. If she had the chance, she’s the first one to say hi or hello to us, asking us how’s our day and the like. She was like our second mother.

Last Wednesday, being tired from my Cambodian tour, I asked for her service. We talked for a while first and told her that I will be going home this 21st of May. She asked, for how long? I told her that my job is finished and I will not come back anymore. Her voice cracked a little and the sparkle in her eyes faded. She continued asking if I like Thailand, I said yes but I have to go home. Our company had decided not to renew our contracts. She further asked about my other officemates, her regular customers too, and I told her all of us are leaving by end of May. She just said she hopes to have customers like us in the future. My heart is breaking, I know what she feels. I assure her that if I come back in Thailand, I will visit her again.

To Khun Malai, thank you very much and Happy Mother’s Day!

Of course, Happy Mother’s Day to my Mama too. Love you ‘ Ma.

ETA

Two days before going back to the Philippines, I played tennis with my fellow engineers and I thought that was one of my unluckiest days. The tennis ball hit my right eye and believe me it was one of the scariest moments of my life. LOL! Still I continued playing, and before wrapping up the game, I twisted my left ankle.

When I arrived at the hotel, I asked for Khun Malai, if she can massaged my ankle. Of course she did. And what touched me more was after the session, maybe after 1 hr, she knocked on my door and brought me a dinner since she said I cannot go out to buy one. Whew! And offered me a pain killer she brought in a pharmacy prescribed by a doctor. A gesture I won't forget.

/totomai
05/11/08

11 comments:

  1. i'll miss her too =(

    (hmp, di ko ma-post pix ni khun malae dito, nasa friendster e, hehe)

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  2. mata, pamasahe ako bago uwi.. uy un pala spelling ng name niya? hehe

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  3. Totomai,

    A nice tribute piece for a person that literally touched your life in her simple way. This only shows that we don't need to do extraordinary things to be remarkable, we just need to put our hearts in whatever I do. I think this Masseuse understands this old wisdom very well and she made this statement loud and clear.

    This post is both happy and sad with the hints of goodbye in the end. The place and its people has enriched you, this costless prize you gained from your stay you will have forever.

    Have a great home-coming.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  4. @Jeques, yes a bit sad and happy of course but yeah, im getting used about this set up

    Khun Malai is really one of the persons i will miss. she's like our second mother here.

    thanks a lot!

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  5. A beatiful tribute to a remarkable woman...

    celebration

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  6. @guatami, she's remarkable as she loved her craft dearly

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  7. :( that was touching, Totomai. You made me emo.

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  8. My first time here c/o Benj and you made me cry. Cheers to Khun Malai. like you, I also love Thailand.

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  9. @benj and fritz, hehe, sorry for making both of you emo. LOL! i still remember the last time we saw each other, she led me to our van like a mother waving bye to his son.

    i edited the blog and included another gesture of her kindness.

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  10. Thai massage; often misunderstood and misrepresented. A genuine Thai massage is refreshing and invigourating.

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  11. This is definitely about being placed in the right hands. Lovely. JP/deb

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any thoughts to distill?

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