Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Ending

Everytime I explore a new street, I feel as though I conquer another piece of Saigon! I highlight all the streets that I've walked and explored on a map that I carry around. Yesterday I did more than just explore the streets.

I found a Sauna/Massage palor called: Golden Smile (Same owner of the bar that Tino works at) on the internet and I mapped out the route. It was definitely far. I had no intentions of visiting the place that day, but decided just to walk in the direction.

I ended up on a main road with heavy traffic. There was a lot to see, but a lot of the same stuff. There were bright lights and tons of people. I decided to turn around when I found a street light so that I could cross safetly. On the other side of the street was majestic pagoda.

This was the pagoda that was near the sauna... hmm.. how about I walk just a bit further? I found a cross street. But it wasn't it. I thought to myself- I'm already here, lets just find it and then go home. I walked to another cross street. 640, 644, 656... there it was: Golden Smile Club.

I pictured a shady small door with a hidden sign in a dark alley. Being a very popular gay massage place made me assume that it wouldn't be so out there. But it was huge and bright and couldn't be missed.

Well, I'm here. What to do now? Ask for prices? Why not?
The lobby was nicer than many hotel lobbies. There was a pond. 100,000 massage ($6), 70,000 ($4) sauna only. All these other services such as facial massages with seawead.

I read on a blog, that it was worth it.. and I figured, if anything shady happens I can try to resist. I'm already here. Right?

I bought my ticket and changed in the locker room. On a board, I selected the person who would be touching me. There was only one cute guy. I sat in a beautiful waiting room. I was really nervous, tense. There was another guy there wearing onlya towel, eating snacks and smoking. He was middle aged.

What the fuck am I doing!? I felt my heart race.

"Your room is ready." fuck.

I walked up stairs and met my massager, he was cute. And I rested on the table. We made conversation. He was also 23. I was really tense. "Just enjoy the massage" I thought; I tried to relax. I told him, this was my first time. That statement alone, didn't help my case. His small hands were strong. This was a nice legit massage, nothing to worry about!!! BUT while massaging my back, my elbow somehow go wedged into his crouch. Okay... this is where it gets very interesting and less legit.

I'm not going to tell you what he did exactly, but interesting is the appropriate word. I got a full body massage so to speak. Legs, feet, arms. He cracked some of my bones as we made awkward conversation. Once again, my foot somehow go wedged into his crotch. Not so legit.

When I was laying on my back, I watched his facial expression. To him, this was work. He kept looking at the clock. He works 4 days a week 10am to 10pm, if he has no customers, he just sits around. I was his 3rd customer today.

This was terrible. I felt bad for him and I told him that he should stop.

On a piece of paper, I was told to write my tip. I put 25%. "It qua!!" (too little). I shrugged my shoulders, how about 50%? "kung duoc." (That's fine). I left and headed to the Sauna.

I couldn't enjoy the massage because I was nervous. I realized that I can't enjoy a massage from a stranger. A regular massage or an interesting massage; I'd have to know them to be comfortable. But my muscles were definitely less stiff.

This would be the cruising for sex part. (Sorry mom)

I was told by a fellow blogger, that the sauna was a sea of men.. and amoung them a couple of hotties. The blogger hooked up with a carpenter or brick layer; he described this as quite memorable.

I told myself, I would regret it if I didn't just go. Deep breaths. I wish I had a friend.

I wrapped my bare body in a towel and cruised the joint. He was was right, about 2 or 3 hotties amoung a sea of closted businessmen, foreigners and bears. The place was small, but artisitc. There was a patio and a resting area, a dry sauna and a steam room and lots of plants.

I played cool. I wanted to be hit on. So I sat for a while exchanging smiles. Then I thought to myself, "I should just approach the boy I like." There was a big bear between me and probably the hottest guy in the room. When the bear left, I aggressive scooted and said hello.
"umm.. so how old are you?"
"huh?" my broken Vietnamese was difficult to make out.
"how old are you?"
"21" wow.. 21?!? and you're in a gay sauna. He was tall, handsome, nice swimmer's muscles.
In two seconds, he stood up and bolted to another room. Not walked away, but he sort of RAN AWAY!

Damn. So, maybe it's like I'm a FOB and my terrible Vietnamese turns these guys off. I should have tried English. OR maybe the age thing was a terrible line. I felt... very unsexy.

I headed to the steam room. I watched these two guys get it on. The guy next to me rubbed his leg indicating that he was interested in me. I can't do this. I walked out of the steam room. I checked out the dry sauna. When I entered 3 guys started to laugh. "You should have been watching the door!!" They immediately left when I entered.

I have an amazing talent, of clearing a room.

Okay, one more thing to check out, the jacuzzi. Yes, you go in naked and it was a luke warm jacuzzi. I watched this guy get closer to another. And then I noticed his facial expression and shoulder movement. There was def. something going on. I got out of the jacuzzi and headed to the showers.

I used a lot of soap. No.. like A LOT OF SOAP. So... this is what it means to be sexually promiscuous. There was a gym upstairs, but I didn't feel like checking it out.

I returned to the lobby. "Are you taking a motortaxi home?"
"No, I'm just going to walk."

And I walked out of the Golden Smile feeling strange. I felt really clean and relaxed, but thinking about what it meant to go these "clubs." What it meant to be hit on and what it meant to be rejected because I was ridiculous enough to select the hottest guy in the room. Haha, Right? I'm crazy. But I was happy that I went. And now I know what it's like.


It was 9pm, and it would take me a little less than an hour to walk home. I took a different route and it started to rain lightly, I had an umbrella. I picked a bad, poorly lit street. I walked passed these two shady guys who said something to one another and nodded their head towards me. I quickened my pace.

My heart started to race faster than when I had initially entered the massage parlor. I watched my shadow to see if there were any shadows following me. Shit, I just had a gay massage, now I'm going to get a gay beating.

I turned the corner and stood next to a crowded restaurunt. I turned around to see if they were following me. They weren't.

Deep breathes. That was the first time I had been scared in Vietnam. I take that back. 3rd time. First time was during the airport check in and second was that massage.

I made it home safe and devoured a soup that my aunt had made.


I never got the "happy ending" that I guess I paid for.
But that's okay, that's not how life should work anyway.


Stanza said...

lol awesome post man, just gave me a hard on whilst reading this at work and eating my lunch at the same time !

Alex C. said...

OMG! I don't know whether to laugh or cry ;-)