Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Puspa Spa Review

This is a complaining review. So if you don't like negative news, tune me out.

Just look at the name. I should have guessed.

Had a one and a half hour spa treatment today because I am up in Ubud scoring a workshop ticket and eating lunch at Nuri's.

I paid the usual sort of mid level spa rate... what, Rp90,000? But maybe I should have turned around and walked out the minute I saw that the massage tables don't have head support units for when the client is face down.

I did not mind the chipping paint on the ceiling, or the ubiquitous low budget tile floors. Climbing the steps to the third floor (yeah, tall palm trees), I actually sort of enjoyed the view of rooftops (and shorter palm trees) and the soccer pitch. The spa tubs looked clean enough. The toilet had been scrubbed. I was okay with all that. But when the masseusse started farting during my massage... well, there was no way the little tip tray was going to see any use.

Hey, I walked out of the joint feeling pretty relaxed. I mean, she was no pro, but it did make my muscles feel better. But, really, at my age, a gal starts to want therapy!

In my opinion, ambience is second to actual skill level in the masseusse. I used to get perfectly good 50,000 Rupiah massages from the girls at the grotty little Sanur Spa near the McDonalds. And that place looked like a low budget beauty salon, with greasy chairs in the waiting room and faded photos of 1980's big-hair do's. So, if Puspa had delivered a good product, I would have heaped the praise. Instead, I could have paid the same amount down the street at the Zen and had a similar massage (maybe even better, who knows) with a garden, flute music, mosaics, and welcome drink.

I think I ought to bring a fussbudget checklist with me, next time I want to scope out a new massage place.

Some suggested survey points:
1. Do the tables have head support?
2. Any sign that someone studied anatomy (muscle groups, etc)?
3. Do I get a private room?

Yes, this borders on one of those self-serving entries that is just a cranky ramble. Borders on it. Really, I just want to post my disappointment and suggest that massage-seekers try instead the Zen Spa or even Bodyworks.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cape Byron

I can see why Captain Cook was pretty excited about the Easternmost part of this continent!

I just got back to Sydney after visiting Byron Bay, the Marin County of Australia. Just imagine Malibu or Stinson with a population density closer to New Zealand's south island.

It was heavenly! (photos copyright echo.net.au)

I was there to visit writer Jane Camens, who's got a house set unbelievably between a jungle thicket of rubber trees and bottle brush trees AND the vast powdery stretch of Tallow Beach!

I mean, I love my occasional dawn stroll down Seminyak's hard packed strand, but to walk with Jane and Harry and Sasha the Viszla.. in the company of -what?- twenty other people on a five mile beach... well, it was mind bending!

I will write a little more, later on...