(If you’re sensitive about nudity, stop reading. If you’re not, read on partner….)
Back in Bor for the week, we’re trying to find things to do when it’s really too hot to do much of anything (35-39C). Most of our time will be spent at the pool but, today, we opted for massages. Unfamiliar with the area or where to find a therapist, Chris asked around and found the name of a lovely therapist we’ll call “L”. With the help of Google Translate, we had an easy conversation via text and made appointments for the 3 of us girls, one hour for myself, 20 minutes for Bex and 10 for Laura, as we thought that was all they could handle. We were given the address, beside a train car restaurant, and instructed to text if we needed help. We got to the train car and texted.
We were led into an apartment building next to the train car and up 4 flights of stairs we went. The room was another apartment, converted into a massage space. Two couches flanked a table in the middle of the room and, without air conditioning in the hot weather, the room was very warm. The girls plopped down on the couches and played their iPads while we talked. “L” then prepared the table and gave me a towel with which to cover myself.
…….I’m going to stop there and remind everyone that my story is that of a modest Canadian in a very revealing Europe….. On that note, let’s continue….
“L” was warm and welcoming and spoke English, for which we are very grateful. She gave me a towel and, unlike in Canada where my massage therapist would leave the room and knock on a door to see if I was ready, I quickly understood that this was not going to be your typical, modest, Canadian massage. I was going to have to undress in front of a woman I just met. Girls are in the room, literally beside me, so I don’t want to make a scene. Just like at the pool when I wore my bikini, I tell myself. Just like the pool. I remove my top, bra, and pants like they are nothing. Only, I’m in my thong, with my girls right beside me, giggling that their mother just undressed in front of a stranger. No biggie.
We start face up and “L” massages my shoulders and neck, and I’m realizing that, from the weight of the small towel over me, that my nipples are peeking out and that, further down, the front of my underwear is equally exposed. By this point, the girls are oblivious, lost in their games. We move onto an area I’ve never been massaged before – my torso. “L” rubs my stomach and proceeds to give me what feel like the equivalent of ‘snake bites’, that old skin twist, from the top of my torso, along my fallopian tubes, ovaries and c-section scar. I laugh uncontrollably, the towel covering my boobs slips, but I don’t fart. At least I’ve got that going for me. “L” stops and gives me a moment to compose myself before we flip over onto my stomach. Here is where it gets interesting.
The towel is lifted up to lay over my back. Only my back. I wear thongs. Always have, always will. (Chris is going to love this when I’m 90.) So there I am, butt cheeks to the sky, and this is when the girls decide to look up from their iPads to squeal, embarrassed. “L” kindly takes to my butt as my Cuisinart mixer does to bread dough. (I’ll be 40 in March, so this is the best analogy I’ve got.) She got all sides, everything was pushed and prodded and kneaded from every angle. And that was just the lower half of my rear. She ripped my underwear down to get the top. I’m not talking just the modest one inch my Canadian therapist professionally moves down, but DOWN. Yep. I am now naked (because, you know, the fabric band did SO much to cover me), and my kids nearly pee themselves, having put the iPads momentarily aside because I’m more interesting for the moment. Eventually, I pull my underwear back up to cover the goods and, of course, get dressed in front of the therapist. So much happened on that table, I feel like we should be married.
Bex went next. She was just having her back done so she removed her shirt and laid on her stomach. The therapist, of course, shifted her pants down a bit so she could massage her lower back, exposing the top of Bekah’s butt. Deep laughing snorts from Bekah hailed the therapist to jokingly smack Bex’s butt! “This is good!” she said. “Your body is good. In Serbia, we are proud of our bodies. Do not be afraid to be proud of it.” Those may not have been the exact words, but pretty close, to that effect. Meanwhile, Laura laughed for a good five minutes that her sister had been smacked on the butt.
After all, Bex LOVED her massage and Laura did too. While teaching us a lesson in modesty, our therapist was warm and chatty and full of helpful information on local events, culture….and where I could finally find the elusive celery.
All in all, it cost us $20 Canadian for all of the massages, with tip, for a priceless experience.