It’s terrifeet

The day before my first day at school – and secondarily my coming back to work – the man, with his great insight, noticed I was slightly stressed, even totally paralyzed by the thought of going back to my crazy working-girl pace – yeah, I’m showing off it’s good for my ego. Thus, because he is perfect – but is it still useful to point out? – He slipped away on Sunday to come back a few moments later with a mysterious red envelope. It contained an invite for a one hour foot massage in the Chinese beauty institute in a nearby street. After two days of hard labour which screw up all benefits of my 25 days leave, I thus went yesterday afternoon – thank you part-time god – to this Asian salon, to experience one of the most zen moment in my life.

Actually, it’s normal since yesterday, I went to China…

Wanna come?

15h55: I leave my place, direction: two streets away. I’m curious and suspicious at the same time, especially looking at the dubious front window.

16h00: I enter the institute and a young woman who doesn’t speak French takes me to the massage room.

16h01: I’m in Beijing, Shanghai or Lu-Xien

16h02: Alright, Lu-Xien doesn’t exist but I just realized in terror that, right now, I can’t name more than two Chinese cities. However my geography subject during the Bac[1] was agriculture in China. I got 15 out of 20.

16h03: It was in 1989.

16h04: I took the Bac exam 17 years ago. I need a chair, like, right now.

16h05: Let’s forget about time which passes and is fatal, and concentrate on this room which exudes peace and softness.  Big tilted armchairs in which you just want to sink down are aligned, covered with rather kitsch towels.

16h06: All around there are small booths closed with curtains. Weird slapping noises are coming from them. I’m really happy not to be one the poor thing stuck in there. There’s also a Chinese temple at the end of the room. A window is open on a courtyard with trees.

16H07: Massage therapists are small brunettes, they giggle in Chinese and their names are Ding, Min or Lung. Mine will be Jing.

16h08: Jing makes me comfortable and even if she doesn’t speak French, I understand from her eyes that tearing off your toenails when you took the Bac exam fifteen years ago, it’s not very zen.

16h09: I’m lying on one of the armchair and my feet are plunged in a burning hot bath with Chinese herbs.

16h10: Jing brings me jasmine tea. I feel close to ecstasy. I close my eyes and listen to the music, the same as in my favorite Chinese restaurant.

16h12: Jing washes and scrubs my feet with a pumice-stone, I want to laugh a bit, but it feels good.

16h14: Jing dries my feet and put them on a small rectangular stool. She spreads butter which smells coco. Her hands are soft.

16h15: Jing, it’s true, we don’t speak the same language, we don’t have the same culture and we’ll have to face our families’ anger, but I truly believe we could live a beautiful story together. Let’s go to Amsterdam, get married, right now.

16h16: But now, Jing, you’re hurting me slightly.

16h17: Forget the wedding.

16h18: It is said foot sole is linked to all body parts.

16h20: The good part of feeling pain is that it gets even better afterwards.

16h21: I was not thinking of sex.

16h22: Alright, I was thinking of sex.

16h23: Jing cracks my toes. I think she tore one off.

16h24: I sneakily count, it’s fine, they are all there.

16h25: Two young fashionistas have just arrived. They don’t seem to be from the area, maybe they even crossed Paris for Jing and her friends. They look like Marie-Claire journalists.

16h26: I’ve been living for two years two meters away from a hype spot without even knowing.

16h27: I just want to tell these two girls that I live close by and I come when I want, if I feel like it.

16h28: I couldn’t help it. They say nothing but look at me in a different way, I can feel it.

16h30: Jing, I’ll come back, I promise, provided you stop tickling my ears, I’m very sensitive to it.

16h31: After checking, no one is touching my ears.

16h32: Feet are REALLY linked to ALL body parts.

16h50: Huh? What? Where am I? Oh right, in Xu-Lien, I believe I’ve slept a bit.

16h59: Jing finishes with a calves massage.

17h00: Right, you are not having a blast, cellulite, right?

17h01: Yes, I have cellulite on my calves. Except on my scalp, I don’t really know where I don’t have some.

17h12: We finish with neck, shoulders and back.

17h13: How come we’re already done, Jing ?

17h20: I end up on a Parisian pavement, I tell myself that actually China is terrifeet.

For those tempted by the trip, all this happens at Institut Feihe, 12 rue Caillaux, Paris 13ème,  01 44 23 91 70. It’s open every evening until… 23h !!!

I forgot! For a one hour massage, it costs only 28 euros, which is, I find, very reasonable…


[1] TN: Bac, short for baccalaureat, is the exam students must pass to graduate high-school in France.

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