More than a $6 massage

Massage, a luxury that I have quickly become accustom to while living in Asia.  An hour of pampering sets me back six dollars.  Amazing, right!?  Tonight as I enjoyed a pre-work week hour long foot massage, I did something I had never done before, I took a good look at my surroundings.  This is what I found in the 300 square foot space:

  1. Five orange foam lotus flowers
  2. A porcelain black and white striped cat  
  3. A red velvet couch with large diamond rhinestones tacking the back, two furry heart pillows, and a large red velvet bench alongside.
  4. A coffee table draped in a lace and rose grandmotherly runner
  5. A gold buddha with a yellow bow loosely tied around it’s neck and dried carnation offerings at its feet
  6. 20 partially filled pump bottles (at minimum) bottles of something massage-y…lotions, oils, soaps
  7. A Thai-style tapestry of Jesus watching another man’s feet
  8. Two selfies printed on paper taped at a diagonal on the wall
  9. Four large wood carvings, painted with gold, of traditional Thai musicians
  10. Two wash bins intended to wash feet pre-massage, each lined with river rock wall paper and a plastic plant inside the basin
  11. One very large silk orchid plant
  12. An empty can of Coke Zero and a long gone cup of bubble tea (no tea, but lots of remaining bubbles)
  13. A mural with waterfalls, and several winged Thai goddesses
  14. Two carved tusks of some sort
  15. Eight large bookcases (got to have some place to keep all of these goodies)
  16. Six dead roses balanced in a plastic cup
  17. The words “for sale,” painted on a piece of wood (still not quite sure what was for sale)
  18. A bronze sculpture of a monk
  19. Three clocks—each displaying a different time
  20. A four foot white porcelain sculpture of woman with a purple bikini, red hair down to her knees, holding an urn with an exceptional amount of black eyeliner on
  21. A table top chess set whose pieces are made of some kind of european soldiers
  22. A few lonely blocks of green florists foam
  23. Sliding glass doors that appear as though they have been inlayed with gold flecks
  24. A large wall decal of a nature scene in a gold frame with a big word in Thai
  25. Wires, lots of wires
  26. Three patterns of wall paper.
  27. Three unlit oil diffusers.
  28. An empty gallon of whole milk.
  29. Three large carvings of a buddhist symbol that I don’t know the name of, but reminds me of a flame.
  30. Rope light skirting the large yellow metal awning as you arrive
  31. And a whole lot of lovely, really lovely, Thai women.

I have been to this place a lot, as one should when a six dollar massage is available, but this was the first time I noticed the quirkiness of the decor.  Item number 31 created a veil between the tangible and intangible.  The people of Thailand are gracious, gentle, thoughtful and loving, making personal connection the primary focus of any interaction.  Taking the time to critique the outward shell of this establishment, and dissect the material surroundings, showed me just how powerful relationships are.  For a place that I often visit, that was a lot of chachkies to disregard.  The only explanation I can give is how special I felt.  Human connections and interactions are powerful.  Powerful enough to separate the superficial from the important.  I hope that when international guests visit the United States they are left with fond impressions of how Americans make them feel.  Even more so, I hope that all American’ connect a bit more and create a culture that is rooted in love.  Watching our countries current events from afar, I can undoubtedly say that there’s a whole lot of room for a whole lot more love.  

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