I never was one for regular massages like some of my friends. In fact the first full-body one I had was the traditional post-partum massage after I had my first baby. Mum had engaged the "tukang urut" for one full month to do the necessary so that I return to hubby after 45 days "like new".
The daily ritual then was first to bathe in warm water infused with aromatic lemon grass and some flower petals, then the massage with some funny-smelling oil concoction, and ending with a smearing of lime-paste on the tummy before the "tukang urut" binds it neatly and tightly with a 6-yard wrap. After that was the drink of a vile jamu, which was a mix of powdered herbs and spices prepared by the lady herself apparently from a recipe handed down the generations.
The lady was about 65 years old, and small in size. I never did enjoy her massages because being small, she was incapable of applying much pressure where it mattered. At the same time she would go on and on about keeping hubby happy, and spacing out the children, and that was why I really had to take her jamu.
Naive that I was at that time, I kept up with the jamu and hubby was really a very happy camper. I became pregnant again barely a month after the end of my confinement. Whatever it was, the jamu was certainly not for regular family planning.
But I digress. I had wanted to write about massages. During my "productive" period spanning nine years, my massage experience had all been post-maternity. In the ensuing years, except for the ocassional neck and shoulder rubs, I had felt no need for massages. Even the thought itself would leave a queasy feeling in my tummy, until Sha-sha and Zsa-zsa took me for a session of Thai Massage!
(to be continued)