Friday 29th August – he hugs us goodbye, telling us he loves us.

At breakfast the ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ lady asked me again if I would like a massage and was the Aircon ok now? I told her it was fixed and thanked her for her help and yes. I would take the free massage. Thank- you. She booked me for two o’clock and at 1.55. I was there ready. A woman sat on my side of the counter with her handbag and a man sat on the other. The woman spoke first asking if she could help me, so I hand her my complimentary massage card. She smiled and handed it to the guy. He left and she went behind he counter and asked me if we were having two massages. Ummmm no, just one I think.

She held up two identical pieces of paper and says “One here. One here.”
I look at them and say. “Photocopy I think?” The man has come back and sounds like he has growled at her and she puts one down and enters my details into the computer. I think the trick there is, I call my husband thinking we get two free massages and after the event she shows me the card I gave her saying ‘one free massage’ so we have to pay for the other. I know your tricks I think to myself.

The man hands me what looks like a cotton scarf and points to a room saying “change” I go in and then think who is giving me this massage anyway. So I go back out and say to the woman. “Lady does massage or man?” “Man”, she replies. “No” I answer. “Lady massage.”
“You want lady massage?” “Yes”. I’m pretty sure about that. “Ok”, she replies yelling something out to him and then follows me into the changing room. I take off my top and trousers and turn to see her behind me also peeling off her top and then her trousers.

Wait a minute…”You do massage?” I ask wondering now if I’m doing the massage, on her? “Yes”, she replies. ” You take all off” she points to her knickers and bra. Wtf. What kind of massage is this I’m wondering as she’s taking off her jewellery and pops her diamanté high heel sandals in her locker. Oh well. I’ll roll with this a bit longer….then she pokes around in a locker as I drape the scarf around me and it barely covers my secret bits and only just overlaps. She puts on track pants and a tee shirt. Ok. So she has massage clothes. Makes sense. She motions me to follow as we walk out into the public gym area and down to the massage room. Lucky for them no one is exercising right now. She pats the bed and I climb up. I ask her how long she’s been doing massages. “Mmmmm” she answers so I guess so doesn’t understand. “You have facial too” she asks. “Facial? I think card just said massage?” I reply. “Be extra” she states. “No thank you”. “Mmmmm”, she replies and we are into the massage. I’ve had quite a few massages in my life and the best one ever was Jos Nixon at Images. This one came close to that Jos. When I got back I told Gilbert he might like to try it but no. He’s never really been into massages like I have.

After this we head out, just to look mind. Within a couple of shops we have bought a couple of rings and some earrings. Then we talk about the rugs we saw. It would be a cool reminder of Turkey. We’re still discussing this as we pass another rug shop. Shall we go in and take a look here? The seller pounces and before we know it, we’re inside with apple tea in one hand and baklava in the other, as carpet is rolled out for our visual desire.

And a few hours later we have chosen something that I’m sure we will love forever and the seller has presented us with a plate of mezze which is like tapas, breads, kebab, pizza, salad. A beautiful spread. He tries one more time to add a NZ$2000 silk wall hanging but we stand indicating a final and firm no. He walks us out but before he hugs us both goodbye telling us that we are family and he loves us, then he introduces us to his cousin who sells lamps. Oh my God. The lamps are beautiful. Shiny and mosaic’d…

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