In the middle of the 2008 Summer Olympics the Canadian and I were in Brasov, Romania three days into a two week backpacking trip around Romania, Austria and Germany. Brasov is ostensibly the home of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula, so you can imagine that this town is a bit eerie as it is in the heart of Transylvania juxtaposed to the Carpathian mountain range.
The hotel had a small building off of the main building that housed a swimming pool in the downstairs part, and a gym upstairs with the massage room off of the gym. The Canadian and I had booked our appointments back to back so while he was getting his massage I decided to swim for an hour.
When the Canadian emerged from his massage I had just exited the pool and was waiting outside the door, still in my swimsuit. As he passed me I noticed that he looked relaxed yet puzzled -- but because it was time for my massage and I had to head in I didn't get a chance to find out the scoop on the massage.
When I walked in the room, I was immediately struck (traumatized?) by several things. One, this was not your typical massage room. Did this room have low lights? music? candles? aromatherapy oils? sheets on the table? coverings of any kind? privacy?
I'm sure you've now guessed that no, it did not have any of these things...
The room's walls were effectively made of mirrors, the table was just...a massage table without any kind of sanitary covering, every single light was turned on, the television was on at full-blast (more on this in a second), and Boris was not making any move to leave the room so I could undress (I was still just wearing my swimsuit at this point). Now you might think -- well you could just discreetly turn around and take your top off.
Uh. no. Remember the mirrors? Everywhere? There was no discreetness about it. At this point I'm sort of shuffling around wondering if Boris is going to leave or not, and once I realize he is not going to give me any privacy, I opt for leaving on the swimsuit.
So, I lay (face-down) on the massage table and Boris mentions that I need to take off my swimsuit for a good massage. Now, if I'd had a sheet covering me I would have certainly taken off everything (as I usually get massages in the nude) but I did the best I could to remove the top half of my swimsuit as I was lying face-down (to protect the ladies). (I realized a few minutes later at some point I would have to flip over...wasn't sure how that was going to work)
So Boris begins the massage, and a few things happen at this point. One, he lights a cigarette and two he begins yelling at the television. Remember I said up at the top of this post that we were in Romania during the 2008 Summer Olympics? Apparently Romania was in the wrestling competition and Boris was yelling at the top of his lungs at the television while massaging me...and smoking. Simultaneously. And I was dodging the falling ash, like Mount Vesuvius had just erupted from the end of his cigarette.
This behavior continued throughout the course of the massage, and was only interrupted by the lighting of another cigarette (off the first one -- chain style) and the telephone. Approximately every 10 minutes or so, someone would call Boris, a rapid conversation in Romanian would ensue, and then the massage (and smoking and yelling) would resume.
Eventually we get to the part where I have to flip over. I was a little nervous because, remember, I was not covered by a sheet, a towel -- anything...and the room was filled with mirrors. I begin the flipping process, while sort of flopping around like a jellyfish on the massage table while trying to grab my boobs so Boris wouldn't see them and just as I was halfway through the turn, Boris grabs a tea towel and throws it over the ladies. A tea-towel -- thin, skimpy and just barely covering the important parts. But hey, beggars can't be choosers right? The entire time Boris massaged my front I was CERTAIN that towel was going to fall off...it didn't, but only just barely.
So, about 30 cigarettes, 5 phone calls, and several wrestling losses later, my massage was finished -- and that, my friends, is the story of Boris and my Romanian Massage.