Yup, loaded title I know it. I will start by saying the young man that gave me my massage was perfectly polite and respectful. With that said, it was the weirdest massage ever. Ever.
I am currently in Zadar, Croatia. A beautiful tiny town on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
I asked for the 45 minute aromatherapy massage. The cost was 150 Kuna, which today comes in at about $26.55. I check in a few minutes early, like any good spa customer. The guy at the desk stands up and points to the room right next to reception, leads me there. He is like 9 feet tall (ok, more like 6’8” or more) and young enough to be my
son little brother. And the whole thing felt like it was a massage from my little brother. You know, here brother $5 now rub my back!
The room is pretty bare, lots of bright lights, classic rock playing in the background and no place for my stuff either. Like glasses, clothes, etc. And the door is kinda frosted glass but kinda you can see thru it. The massage table in the middle had one sheet on it. One. Dude walks out and says to take off my top (standard for a massage, nothing wrong here, but keep reading). No place to put my clothes. So I hang my tank top on the door knob and put my glasses on the edge of the sink.
So back to that one sheet. Over it or under it? I am not a prudish American, not bothered by nudity, mine or others. But this was not a situation I could win. I am either that American lady that wanted to be naked when she wasn’t supposed to be, or I am that American lady that was a prude and ashamed of herself. I can’t really wait for dude without committing, remember see-thru-ish door?
Ok, I figure I will error on the side of prude. As I start to go under the sheet, dude comes back in, he giggles at me. Ok, so I should have been on top of sheet. No big deal. I tell him this is different than I am used to in America, where should I be? Over or under the sheet. He said under. So I start to go under the sheet. He giggles again and says he meant the sheet should go under me. He told me to lay on my face (not in a rude way, in a cute English as a fourth language kind of way). Ok, I got this now, face down on massage table, there’s the little hole for my face. I lay down prepared for my aromatherapy massage.
He says he mixed lemon juice and orange juice for my smells. I think he meant oils, but I was like oranges and lemons? Maybe it’s something special that I am just missing by being a snobby American. (Nope, by the way, this adds to the little brother massage vibe, cause little brothers would use what was close and what they know)
He takes a towel and folds it into the waistband of my pants (to keep the oils from staining) and then he starts to rub. Not massage, rub. He actually also did that karate chop thing all over my back too. About 20 minutes in he asks if I want only the back or the whole body. Considering the whole over/under sheet thing AND the aching back that motivated the massage, I said just the back please. There were moments of actual massage, but mostly little bother like rubbing and karate chopping.
Nearing the end of the back rub dude walks over to the sink area and grabs a handful of paper towels from the dispenser (like from a public bathroom type towels) and rubs them all over my back (to absorb the leftover orange/lemon oil-juice?). Then takes the towel he had placed in my waistband and covers my back with it, then rubs my back some more with the dry towels. They have never heard of fabric softener here so it was a nice little exfoliator to end with I suppose.
All this for $26.55.