Looks rough, right?
I'm on a new experiences bender, so since we were going back to the same place for the second night in a row, I asked for a different massage to mix things up as much as I could. I got a Thai massage, which is usually pretty painful and tough, but I think I got my massage at maybe 60% power or something like that for most of it. I begged for mercy beforehand. It's like a very large and intense cat doing 'happy paws' on you - you know, kneading. But then! After the happy paws warm-up, it moves on to what feels like a strong blind man trying to gouge someone else's eyes out. Deep gouging into flesh and terrible aim. Muscles being found out and nearly plucked from your bones via thumbs of steel. Then at some points limbs get bent up into pretzel positions and you get aggressively palpated some more. At one point I was on my stomach, my knees were bent, my feet were crossed at the ankles, and the masseuse was basically kneeling on my feet, pressing them into my bum. Yes, it was painful at times, but I persevered, dear readers. All in all it was relaxing, and at the end I felt like something had really been accomplished.
As a disclaimer, I think most of the places we’ll be seeing are newer cities and areas. For those who thought I might be steeped in traditional culture… no. From what I can tell, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any national treasures. Sometimes I think I should be disappointed, but I'm honestly not! After all, this is a work trip (and as we see, it's not too terrible). I go with the flow and I'm really grateful for everything I've gotten to do. This culture is different than our own and it’s been really exciting to see what I have gotten to see. I didn’t have any expectations going in, and I’m more than happy with the trip so far. Plus, I would love to plan an extension into the next trip so I could take some vacation over here and see some historical things. I hear China goes back quite a ways ;)
Alright, it's off to bed for me.