It’s late July/ early August 2011 and Naomi and I are on our travels around South East Asia.
In order to escape the constant oppressive humidity we decided to visit the town of Dalat in the Vietnamese highlands. It was rainy, around 15 degrees and as close to home as we were going to get.
It sounds ridiculous but we just needed a break from the endless backpacking. (It’s a lot more hard work than you might imagine)
So, it was mid afternoon and I was at the receiving end of a particularly slap dash massage. The girl had started on my feet, worked her way up my calf muscles and was now at my thighs and plying her trade with little to no conviction. I’m lying on my back and I’m dressed down to my undercrackers. A small face towel has been neatly folded and strategically placed and I’m wondering what the hell we are doing there.
Before I go any further lets count up the amount of clues that would have had any sane person running for the hills.
# 1. The room is the size and shape of a prison cell. One letterbox window, one door and the masseuse and I. It’s drab and horrible enough to make your skin crawl.
# 2. Naomi and I got split up when we arrived. That was disconcerting. She is off somewhere else getting her massage. I’m slightly concerned.
# 3. The building is shambolic. It’s not like any other massage joint we had been in before (and we had been in plenty on our way around Thailand). They were all bamboo huts, cocktails and hammocks. This place was a disused 1970’s office block located in the town centre with peeling lino floors, stained walls and an eerie emptiness. It was fit for demolition.
# 4. The huge lurid Adam and Eve mural we had clocked in the foyer at the entrance was horrendous.
And finally, # 5. The odd little old man who showed us through the building and rolled his eyes at us whilst muttering something under his breath would have fit into any early episode of Scooby Doo.
When we had arrived at the reception two girls had greeted us with a warm welcome usually given by air hostesses. Naomi was led off by a slight, beautiful girl and I was whisked away by a girl who wasn’t in any way slight or beautiful. That was just annoying.
So there I was… Stretched out on a rickety bed with this girl needing my thighs and we were both in complete silence. No relaxing plinky plonk music, no chit chat. Just me counting the seconds until this was all over.
Her hands travelled north up my thighs. A little too high.
Yup, stuff definitely touched there. Oh dear.
I looked at her in the dim light. Big shoulders for a girl. Big hands too….
Oh. No. Why was it only then that I recognised the lady boy for what she was?
Later on, down the line Naomi will try and defend the fact that she had dragged me here to this den with the excuse, and I quote. “How could you not see it was a ladyboy? I got a beautiful Asian girl and you got a squat man. A total fucking box of a person.”
Well, ladies and gentlemen I honestly never noticed until to was all too late.
I caught her eye and then she asked the question that will live with me forever.
She gently patted me twice on the package and said, “Massage Pee-Pee?”
Now here’s the thing I never expected at all. For a spark of a moment I considered it. To my shame I truly did. Who would know? To hell with it, lie back and think of Scotland. Chalk it up as crazy experience. Thankfully that thought was gone as soon as it entered my head. Imagine explaining to your brand new wife that you got beat off by a bloke in a dress, in a cesspit of a den in a Vietnamese brothel whilst on your honeymoon.
“No! No thank you!” I stammered. I have no idea why I was being so polite. I hadn’t a clue what to do. Most guys would have punched her.
Then the awkwardness continued. She actually half heartedly finished the massage. (I can’t believe I’m writing this.)
My mind was screaming at me.
Then I thought about Naomi. What was happening to her?
I got my stuff together and the ladyboy showed me to Naomi’s room.
What a difference. Night and day. The room was bright and airy. The polar opposite of the terrorist holding cell I had been subjected to.
“Hi love.” She beamed.
“We need to go.” I burned a hole into her head with my eyes.
I soon filled Naomi in on what happened which she took great delight in. She laughed her arse off. She told me that she had the best massage of her life and that everything was above board.
She calmed me, reassured me and said that everything was fine. Then, for the second time that day Naomi managed to convince me that she had a good idea. She suggested that we should relax and laugh it off in the sauna. (How I stuck it out and didn’t leave I have no idea.)
We were shown through to a grimy white tiled shower block with two grotty plastic chairs sitting in the middle of the room. It reminded me of the showers in the guys changing room at high school. There was no small wooden cabin with water being thrown on hot coals here. No sir-ee. Instead the pleasant beautiful Asian girl smiled at us, motioned for us to sit down and turned the showers on as hot as they would go. That, my friends was our sauna. We sat there abject and bewildered in our plastic chairs, showers screaming by our sides whilst waiting for a cold room to slowly fill with piss weak steam.Read More