I’ve been back in Pokhara for the past week in order to work with the women’s skill development project (whom I have mentioned in another post). After my time with them is done, I’ll post an update on that.
Outside of working with them, I have been spending some time in Lakeside enjoying the nice weather and even getting some much needed computer work done (with the occasional facebook and blog update…).
Earlier in the week, my friend Simon was in Pokhara as well and we decided that we were going to rent some bikes and ride around the lake. Let’s just say, you get what you pay for (we only paid 100 rupees each (about $1.50) ). Brakes hardly worked, seats weren’t the greatest, and I have never had so much difficulty riding up a hill on a bike in my life. At one point, I had a little kid chasing me saying, let me ride on the back, let me ride on the back. Attempting to run after a 12 year old child while going up a hill on a bike that doesn’t have any power….you can imagine the hilarity…
After we got back from the bike ride, we went to the place we rented from to return them. Turns out, it’s a barber/massage parlor. Next thing I know, Simon’s sitting down for a head massage, because they gave him a good deal. They offer one to me, so I figure “hey! why not? at the very least, it will be an experience”.
Oh boy, was it an experience. I kept looking at Simon’s massage jealously, because he looked so relaxed. My massage on the other hand, was violent, uncomfortable, and I came out of it feeling somewhat violated and anticipating bruises. Of course, as a means to dupe us (which we knew we were getting duped, just not sure how much) they offered us a back massage too. Even though I was quite uncomfortable, I figured, ok, why not? Maybe it’ll be better. NOT better. I really should have known.
Of course when it was all said and done, they tried to charge us 8 times the originally agreed upon amount (they massaged our backs! it’s a half body massage!). We got them down to about 4 times that and walked away a little annoyed, but also recognizing the fact that we could have stopped the situation at any time.
On top of all of the uncomfort and being duped, the guy also emptied about a gallon of grease onto my head and shoulders. When I came out, I looked like I had gone for a swim in a vat of oil.