I went out for ikan bakar with Wifey for lunch, before going for a haircut…or, more like cutting what’s left of my hair. I have been having this bad backache for weeks now, enduring the torture for as long as I could. Since I could no longer sit for more than 10 minutes without having to readjust the comfort level, I decided it was best for me to seek help at the usual traditional chinese sinsei outlet.
The last time I was there was more than 3 months ago. Wifey had to sit and wait while I got my back massaged. It was only for an hour then, but due to the gravity of my ache, the sinsei decided to poke me with acupuncture needles, and before I even knew it, I had more steely needles poked into me than a Hindu man would have during a kavadi-carrying session on Thaipusam day.
I arrived there shortly before 4.30pm, the time of my appointment. I quickly went up, and met the manager, who asked me the nature of my ache. In a mixture of very-halting Mandarin and English, I tried as best to explain what I was suffering from. So, a masseur sinsei was appointed to handle my case. She was this blonde chinese woman, in hot pants and white blouse, all smiles when she saw me. Well, if she was Gong Li, I would smile back, except that she’s not – she’s more like a Gong than anything else, and a huge one at that.
I hopped onto the massage bed. She scanned my back to find out the source of the backache – and it was actually the neck, and by the spine. She quickly went to work. All 100-kilos of mainland lard was transferred onto the small of the elbow while she tortured every acupressure points on my neck, shoulders, back, butt and the back of my legs. I found myself struggling to: (1) overcome the pain of the massage, and (2) keeping the ikan bakar that was threatening to jump right out of my tummy, permanently inside. Not long after, I also had (3) to keep my fart within my bowels. At some points, she would slap the part that I would stiffen up when fighting the pain and would say to me, “Lee-lacks!” If I had relaxed, rice and fish would have been on the floor, and I would have farted straight into her face.
I think she had fun putting me through the torture. Every single milimeter, including what the malays would call the urat halus where even Wifey’s elbows and knees could not reach, got scrutinised by the 100-kilo elbows.
I would usually fall asleep in the middle of a massage session. This time it was difficult. It was pure torturous pain. For more than an hour I had to endure the pain. Towards the end, I fell asleep. Either that or I had passed out because of the pain. Anyhow, exactly two hours after the session was commenced, it was completed. Half-asleep, I got up, feeling like I was recovering from a dose of general anaesthesia, got dressed and paid. She showed me where it went wrong and said the word “Bad” every time she pointed to the figure in the drawing. I felt relieved when she didn’t point to that part in between my thighs.
I walked to the car, feeling a thousand times better, and smiled to myself knowing I’d be able to whack Wifey again tonight, hopefully, without the discomfort of a backache. And if I do have one again a few months down the line, I hope it’s not Ah Gong that they will assign to me again.