Oh holidays.. such a dreamy period full of opportunity, experiences, travel and fun…. well thats the idealistic version I diluted myself with to get through every dry, tedious lecture, assignment and exam prep.
The reality for the brain fried, lazy and every so stereotypical uni student that i am (particularly in winter) is slightly closer to unhealthy Netflix binges, pizza and alcohol consumption along with as much sleep as I can manage amongst shit-ly scheduled shifts.
Sometimes I surprise myself however, like last Thursday when I treated myself to a massage, intended to relieve the study induced tension that has NOTHING to do with Orange Is The New Black.
Having assessed the fat knots framing my neck, I knew a bita’ Chinese acupressure (with a side of back straddling) was in order.
When I called, I was excited to hear the owners voice; that woman does things to my ass that no physio has ever achieved. The relief and sensation is something else, and I intended to lay down and take it all in.
Just as I was settling in however, a gross creep barged into the salon, interrupting my appointment to ask how many girls worked at ‘Nihow’, how old they are and whether or not he can receive a happy ending at 3pm on a Thursday arvo in my little civilised neighbourhood.
Not only did this fuel a rage in my feminist veins, it led to a heavy discussion on race, politics, education and of course money, which resulted in a few leg kicks and excessive arm waving (GOODBYE ZEN).
I was learning a lot, mostly about men and the typical behaviours found at varying salons across the metropolitan area. (A wine or 10 was defs required to process that shit). It wasn’t until my dear masseuse decided to intercept my opinion with a solution however, that led to my… well… annoyance.
” You know, you should go to China. You would love.”
-Of course I asked what this had to do with perverted men-
“Lots of fun, good shopping, you know, good economy, find nice husband.”
Then I realised- this woman was just being patriotic. She had built a bond and felt the need to entice me into her mother country, you know- while I was naked and hot headed, covered in vegetable oil while she whispered to her employees peeping through the door.
I then remembered that I am off to Bali in a few weeks, and took a deep inhale. I pictured myself laying by the pool, coconut in hand, soaking up the rays as I take in the un-interrupted ocean view.
Oh wait~ except for the line of beach workers shoving sarongs in my face, begging me to look, and buy, and look, and buy.
“You! black hair, you look Indonesian! very pretty! come look, come look.”
Yes, it’s cute. More so, it’s a bloody tough gig, (from a privileged white girls point of view). They are just trying to survive, and the sarongs are ever so pretty. i don’t wanna hate, or ignore. I want to show acknowledgement and respect, and I always do.
But after that, I want to be left alone. I don’t want to hassled every time turn my head in the wrong direction, or walk along the beach.
And here we have it: the clash of the worlds. The white power guilt and ethical dilemmas.
While I admire the owner of the massage parlour, I did not enjoy receiving a photo album of Beijing post massage.
This led me to reflect on a doco I watched recently about an American girl who had been adopted from Vietnam.
Having felt a void in her adopted family, the lady went to a lengthy effort to track down her biological relatives. As I watched with enthusiasm and emotion as the woman arrived at the airport, it was so nice to see the love and connection experienced as she embraced her mumma and papa.
It was then so disheartening to watch her face change as her brother sat her down to request financial support. Being from the west, the family had assumed the girl was in the position to support the family, as is tradition in their culture anyway.
The cultural clash had struck again, and it’s no ones fault!
I’ve always believed that humans can connect and relate on many levels, from all corners of the globe. If there was one thing that divides, it is of course- the mighty dollar bills.
One day I plan to use my ‘power’ to make differences, to be honest I already do, weekly. However, sometimes all a gal needs is a good mojito in the sun to re-boot, guilt and creep free!