Malaysia - Malaysia Massage
I am not exactly sure how ripping three eyelashes out of my head is going to make my husband passionate, but at this point, there doesn't seem to be any turning back.After all, I have just let a fully head-scarved Moslem woman rub ruby oil into my breasts. It's a little late to get tentative.
To be fair, I thought I had merely signed up for a cheap one-hour massage. It's not like I had an option of going to the bar. I am in the state of Terengganu on Malaysia's east coast. Known as the fundamentalist state within this Islamic nation, they take the idea of abstaining to serious levels. Coke is truly as good as it gets. Besides, sixty Malaysian Ringitts amounts to just over thirty bucks Canadian. It seems like a pretty decent alternative to margaritas.
The fact that Sari Ra Wati doesn't speak any English, has me lying on the once-pink hotel carpet covered only in a soon-to-be-removed sarong, and is digging into my ovaries through my belly wall is rapidly making up for the savings. When she gets to my legs, I swear she is pushing aside my muscles and bruising the tibias and fibulas directly. So, when she stops long enough to say, "Solly, Auntie", and begins kneading my breasts, I am merely grateful for an end to the pain.
Kneeling behind my head, she pushes me into an upright position. Her thumbs push through my scalp, bracketing her mouth that is waterfalling a rush of Malay syllables into my head. She breathes and blows into my brain. I feel blessed and weak. The words stop. Finish." Sari Ra Wati leans back on her heels. "Finish, Auntie."
But really, it's only begun. Dressed now, I nod and smile and wonder why she's not leaving. I read the red oily bottle, Minyak Panas - A combination of citronella, nutmeg, eucalyptus, eugenia aromatica and paraffin oil. I can only hope no one lights a match.
There is a muffled knock. My translator, Sandra Ngoh-Fonseka has arrived just in time. Ngoh-Fonseka begins, "You mentioned that you would be interested in the spiritual world of Malaysia. This woman has a gift that is passed from mother to daughter. She offers it to you." "Why not?" I say. A girl can always use an edge. More melodic Malay and then…smiles and gestures. My translator shakes her head. More back and forth. I can't take it any more. "Sandra. Come on. What is it?" Ngoh-Fonseka covers her lips with her fingertips. Her eyes seem brighter. "Take a clean pair of panties. Boil them and make your husband a hot drink."
In a society where it appears that women have no obvious control over their situation, one where it is possible for their husband to marry a few extra wives or rather easily divorce them: it would make sense that these women would need a secret authority, a knowledge that they in fact, are in control of their situation. This kind of secret knowledge gives a woman an edge in her circumstances.
It is probably not much different than our North American equivalent of sporting a plunging Frederick's of Hollywood ® crimson bra under our most conservative suits.
I stroll down to the lobby. I am feeling pretty fine. Three hours have passed since Sari Ra Wati first appeared at my door. "Wow. You're glowing."
My traveling companion is right. I look and feel pretty warm and shiny. Mind you, it's 39 C in the shade, the humidity is about 1000% and I'm slippery with red-coloured paraffin oil but I think it's more than that. I am powerful in my possession of the potions splashed on my face and stored for future use in my purse.
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