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Published: August 13th 2018
It seems that the Father’s Day public holiday means that nothing will be open in Samoa again today, so we resign ourselves to yet more time lazing on the beach. We wonder if there will be any activities on at the resort today, but the staff seem to have taken a lead from their colleagues in the rest of the country, and there’s nothing happening here either.
Issy says that we should take advantage of the lack of alternatives and have the couple’s massage that she was wanting to book us in for a few days ago. I managed to get out of it then by planning a conflicting activity, but I sense that this is going to be a bit more difficult today as I’ve yet to come up with a conflicting activity that I could plan.
I’ve only ever had one professional massage before. It was on a windswept beach in Queensland. I remember my joints all feeling like someone was trying to rip them out of their sockets, and the massage oil kept getting covered in sand so that it felt like I was being sandpapered rather than gently rubbed.
I tell Issy that if there are no activities on at the resort today, surely the massage centre will be closed as well. I try to head back to the room, but she insists that we go there to check. It’s open. This is not good. Hopefully it will be booked out, but no luck there either. As we stand at reception one of the other guests rings in to book a couple’s massage for himself and his wife. Issy comments on what a wonderful romantic husband he must be, and tells me that if I don’t want to have a massage with her she’ll check whether he might be available instead. I think she might be cottoning on to my lack of enthusiasm.
We laze on the beach and swim amongst the fish and coral. Issy pulls out an underwater camera which she bought years ago and hasn’t used since. We hope it’s an underwater camera, because if it wasn't it is now. We try to take underwater selfies, but I can’t hold my breath for long enough for the camera to focus.
Issy falls asleep on the beach. When she wakes up I tell her that she’s slept through our massage booking. She gives me the look. I ask her if I can play on my iPad while I’m being massaged. The string of expletives flung at me suggests probably not, and that if we want to continue to live in peace and harmony it might be best if I just give up and submit to the torture that awaits me.
Issy says that the massage will be both pleasant and painful, but that it will all be worth it in the end. This sounds a bit like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer so that you’ll feel better when you stop.
The masseuse asks me what pressure I’d like. I have no idea what this means, so I ask Issy for advice. This proves to be a serious mistake. She tells the masseuse to be "very firm" with me. I lie face down on a table, and prepare for the agony. The masseuse seems to take great pleasure in finding knots and then pounding them relentlessly. I think she’s hoping that I’ll scream. I wonder if perhaps I should scream. Issy might get embarrassed and ask me to leave. I wonder why they call it a couple’s massage. I can’t see Issy; I can only see the floor through the hole in the table, and I’m in way too much pain to be able to talk to her. We might as well be in different countries.
The ordeal finishes. I may never move freely again, but the pain tells me that I'm still alive.
It’s now bucketing with rain and there’s a howling gale to go with it, so we spend the rest of the afternoon on our terrace watching nature in action.
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