It's important in all of your travels and experiences that you take away a message from the universe that leaves you that much wiser, if not wiser, that much more cautious and if not cautious at least makes you pause when you revisit the same kind of experience.
The massage would take place in the safety of my hotel room, so little room for blushing there, right? I invited Kathy to come visit with me since I didn't want to be alone in my hotel with a stranger. There are many things you should not try with a language barrier, at the top of my list is a massage. I should have known things were not going as I planned when she held up a robe and indicated through pantomine that I should remove my clothing and get into it. Like a lamb to slaughter, I did what she asked. Having had hand and feet massages in the states I figured this was so she could have better access to my neck and shoulders. It's best not to assume things in a foreign country.
So I'm laid out on my bed conversing away with Kathy (someone I have only met on this trip) when my masseuse leans forward undoes my robe belt and flashes all my parts at Kathy, while I am screaming, "Kathy, turn your eyes away or you'll be blinded." Out pops my right arm, shoulder and everything else on the right side from my clavicle to my hip bone. Yikes, this is a very thorough hand and foot massage.
The massage proceeds exposing more and more skin, I now have a sheet draped over my robe to provide some kind of modesty and to keep my white skin parts from blushing bright pink from embarrassment. We proceed to the foot portion of the event. My feet are wrapped in garbage sacks filled with hot water from my bathroom, rubbed, massaged etc. At this point, my skin is literally itching to get some kind of undergarment on. So I break and put my bottoms on, thinking that that area of my body has seen all the rubbing it needs.
While I am grateful for the clothing, it did not fit with the rest of the event. I return to laying on my bed, my feet facing the masseuse when she proceeds to flip my legs up over my head, multiple times. While I am not the most modest of persons I can promise you I would have been mortified to be doing that in the raw. So now you can see why I chose a picture of those little pink pigs all exposed. So after the laughing and crying over this event, I am that much wiser and much more cautious about language barriers, exposed skin and hotel rooms. It's not a good mix.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Another must see spot when you visit China has to be the amazing Terracotta Warriors. It's mind-boggling to imagine that a ruler would require 700,000 people to work for over 36 years to create an army of over 7,000 soldiers to protect his tomb. Even more mind-boggling is that no two warriors are the same. They may share a rank as can be identified by their clothing as well as how their hair is done but each one carries a different face.
I think of these as the "warrior zombies". The friend that I traveled with thought it looked more like resurrection morning with the warriors lined up to be made "whole" again. Each warrior is unique and there is a continuing effort today to painstakingly reassemble them.
This is the "front row" of infantry men. The first line of defense for the emperor in the after-life.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
So one of the sites that I most looked forward to as I prepared to travel to China, was the Great Wall of China. I guess I was not alone in this desire because this is what I first saw on the wall.
One thing I never quite got used to is how often my picture was taken by random Chinese people. My blond blue eyed daughter had warned me but until you are spied on, stalked and stared at like a bug in a jar, you don't really get it. If they were kind enough to request me in their picture I smiled, but if they put their cell phones on their shoulder and walked past, I would turn away. My daughter after experiencing this for five months, started making scary faces.
Here's the team I traveled with. A great bunch of dental professionals and even better people.