Drowning In Peppermint Oil

Massage 300x297 Drowning In Peppermint Oil

I woke up early determined to go and get a mobile phone sim card (I hate feeling out of touch) I would have got one the day before but it was Sunday and practically everything was shut. While I was getting ready I heard a knock on my door. Wearing my headscarf I flung the door open to find a man standing there. His name was Jay. He was American, originally from Trinidad and had just arrived. He introduced himself as staying in the room opposite. After the formalities he left and then I went and asked the lady downstairs how I could identify a cab as I hadn’t seen any that I could pick out as cabs day before. She said that I need to look at the first letter of the license plate and hail down any “P” car.

So off I went to the main road, my intention to hail a cab down to the B Mobile phone shop next to Pennywise in Crown Point. I stood on a corner on the main road. After a few cars had passed it dawned on me that practically EVERY SINGLE car’s licence plate started with a P. Huh? I was baffled. They couldn’t all be cabs… could they? I started walking in the direction of the phone shop, still looking for a cab that said TAXI or had some identifying marker on the side.

It never happened.

I ended up walking the whole way to the B-Mobile shop in the blazing heat. It musta taken me about 20-30 minutes. On my arrival I asked for a pay as you go phone chip. Everything was fine, I was as happy as Larry until the girl behind the counter asked me for ID. WHAT? What the hell do you need ID for to buy a bloody pay as you go chip? Of course it was just my luck that I didn’t have any ID on me at all, and I wasn’t going to get the chip without it.

I was PISSED! Plus I was meant to be back to meet Sherman to go to the Barbeque at 12 noon. Nevertheless I headed back to the Guesthouse where the lady who had told me where to find the mobile shop was in the reception on a sofa lounging. She saw that I looked sweaty and worn out as soon as I walked in and asked me what had happened. I told her,

“I had to walk because I couldn’t find a cab, and then when I got there they wouldn’t give me the chip because I didn’t have ID”

“YOU WALKED? Laaaaaaaawd!”

“Nearly all the cars licence plates started with a P, so I couldn’t tell which a cab was.”

She rolled her eyes in exasperation,

“I told you to just stick your hand out and a cyar will stop.”

“But how will I know it’s a cab?”

“If it’s not a cab it won’t stop.”

“But then I could get into any random killer’s car!”

She shook her head,

“No no not in Tobago… they cyaaan’ get away wid it… Maybe Trinidad, but not here. Go and get your passport and meet me on the road. I will find a cyar for you.”

She left and I went to go and find my passport. When I got to the road I couldn’t see her, so I tried randomly sticking my hand out and in no time at all a car had stopped. I told them where I wanted to go and I was back in the mobile phone shop in less than 5 minutes, and in 5 minutes more I had my new Tobagan number.

On the return journey I decided to walk back as on the way I had seen a place advertising massage, and at that point my shoulders were feeling tense so I thought I’d stop by there.

The place looked empty as I walked in and so I called out, “HELLO!” A big lady came out and quoted me TT$180 for an hour’s massage which I quickly knocked down to TT$160 as that was all I had on me and there was no way I was going to find a bank and then come back… No chance at all.

She led me to the massage room and the place where you put your head was missing the padding and was merely a circular hard metal structure with staples embedded into it which I imagine used to hold down the padding. She placed a folded bit of kitchen towel at the head of the bed short of the circular metal structure, and upon the light blue plastic sheet that the bed was covered in. I undressed and lay upon it feeling like I was rubbing up on a giant condom.

She got her oil ready and got to pouring.

She poured…

and she poured…

and she poured.

I felt like I was drowning. The oil was peppermint and stunk to high heaven, but I said nothing. I was eager for her to get to work on easing the knots in my shoulders. Her technique was good, very firm and strong. I could feel myself begin to relax (despite the smell) and the knots in my shoulders begin to loosen. Everytime I would drift into a state of calm she would bring me out of it by pouring more and more of the oil on, which would distract me as it felt as if I were bathing in the stuff. After about 20 minutes I had grown sufficiently accustomed to the stench and the feeling of drowning and begun to nod off.

Then the phone rang.

She left my side and went to answer it. I couldn’t believe it, but then maybe I thought, she doesn’t get much business so every call is important to her. You can’t knock the hustle right?

She answers the phone, greets the person and then proceeds to leave the room and me there alone splayed out on the giant blue condom. NON-SENSE! I can hear her talking loudly outside the room, and from what I can hear it doesn’t sound like business. She is laughing and joking with the person. After about 5 minutes there is silence and she comes back into the room and starts back the massage again. She then starts talking gibberish.

“Mmmmmm Hmmm…” Why the hell is she making moaning noises? fricking weirdo?

“Yeaaah” huh? Yeah what?

I’m beginning to think the woman is a loon. It is only when she breaks into full scale chatter that I realise that she is still on the phone and massaging me with ONE hand. I CANNOT believe it! For this kind of service I should have knocked her down to TT$100. The one handed massage continues while she yacks on the phone,

“Me cyaaan believe it…. Who tol’ im? Did ya hear im say… She say…”

And so on it went… pure gossip and giggling. I couldn’t believe it, she was there gossiping while my back was being neglected, and to make up for the missing hand she insisted in drenching me in even more oil. The shit was all dripping from the back of my neck into the sides of my face and seeping into my hair.

When it came time for me to turn over onto my back the giant blue condom stuck to me and I struggled to peel it off whilst maintaining my modesty with the tiny towel she had given me. It was a Hot Ass Mess! She eventually stopped talking and the massage continued with no interruption until the time was up. When she was done she gave me some kitchen roll to wipe myself down with. I must have used the whole roll and still the stench and oiliness on my skin remained. It was peppermint but it smelt sweet and sickly like it had some honey scent added to it. I paid her and rushed back to have a shower.

When I got back to the Guesthouse the same lady that offered to hail me the cab was in the reception area,

“Where did you go? I was looking out for you, and then I saw you get into a car. I called out but you neva hear me.”

“I didn’t see you, so I just stuck my hand out.”

“Ok… a boy came for you. He said you were meant to go on a tour, but I told him you went out and he can catch you back tomorrow”

Must have been Sherman, after all he was the only person in the place I knew. It seemed like I had missed the barbeque so I headed to the internet café to check email and of course MySpace.

So check this out before I left I sent out some messages on MySpace to people that had either been to Trinidad and Tobago or lived there, just asking general questions about the place and things to do. One guy in particular that I had spoken to told me that he spends most of his summers in Trinidad, but this particular year he was staying in the States.

In my inbox there was a message from him. It simply read. “Hey I’m in Tobago too. You can call me.” And he left his number. He didn’t look familiar before but now he sort of did. Then I looked at the name. Jay. The realisation hit me that it was the same guy that was staying in the room opposite me. What a fucking coincidence!!! Well LOL that’s MySpace for you!!!

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