I had the most bizarre experience on my holiday last week.
The Hong Kong skyline had been a sullen gray ever since I arrived and as I exited the MTR at Mong Kok, an historic area known for knock-off goods, I discovered the rain had come to town again.
Seeking out shelter I noticed the sign of a massage parlour and rang the bell, the sound of Beethoven’s fifth symphony blasting from inside before the door opened.
Pointing to an hour special for a head, neck and foot massage, the ladies beckoned me into a private room and asked me to lie down on the table. Attempting to clarify my needs through google translate, the boss lady, a tiny woman with the croak of Humphrey Bogart, reassured me we were on the same page.
Then she began her full-frontal assault on my back. It sounded like a herd of elephants trampling over me.
In a matter of minutes, she exited at the sound of the doorbell, reappearing with another woman in tow. The pair began to converse in loud Mandarin for the entire duration, filling every second of silence with a grunt or forced laughter.
Forty-five minutes later the boss lady signaled the end of the massage, having successfully avoided my head, neck or feet in that time.
When life offers you a shit sandwich, it helps to laugh through the pain.