Friday, January 25, 2008

The Best Chinese Tradition

So I said I'd blog about my experience with my back rub in Chinatown when I was visiting my friend in NYC a couple of weeks ago... so here goes!

My friend had to attend a lecture over the lunch hour, which was located near Chinatown, so I meandered over to the streets full of markets with fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, bright red colors, seafood stands, tea shops and much, much more. There were many small hole-in-the-wall stores that offered massage, reflexology, herbal medicine, accupuncture, etc. I wandered and wandered til I found the place that my friend had told me about that offered good "back rubs."

I walked down the steps, through what seemed like a Bilco door, to the basement where this shop (The Best Chinese Tradition) was located. Inside was a man and three woman, none of whom asked me what I was looking for or how they could help me. One of the women simply said "come," so I obediently followed her... into a very large, dark room with the lights dimmed and soft music playing. It was full of massage tables - rows of them! And there were other customers on the massage tables getting their back rubs. I was escorted to a table in the back corner, where I was shown a hook for my coat and my purse. I didn't know if I was supposed to undress or not, so I asked (my previous massage experiences have not been quite so modest, or public!). The woman looked terrified that I would ask such a thing and said "No! Lay down here." She showed me a sign that gave options for the number of minutes of massage, and I chose 31! Not 30, but 31! She set a timer and I got on the table as she had requested. She put a towel over me and went to town, giving me the best Chinese tradition, a back rub. At first it was hard not to be distracted by the others in the room with their sighs, oohs and ahs, but I got over that and thoroughly enjoyed my public, clothed, Chinese backrub.

The experience cost me just 20 bucks, which I'd definitely pay again. I even got a gift certificate for my friend, so she, too, could experience the "Qi Gong for Both Men and Women!"

I wonder why we don't have the Best Chinese Tradition in Lancaster... or maybe we do, and I have yet to discover it!

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