Thursday, January 29, 2009

Xiamen Sketchiness

My friend and I were on a search for a foot massage.

And unlike Beijing where every other block seems to advertise zuliao, or foot massages, we could hardly find any of those signs.

Then we noticed our hotel had a sauna and massage on the second floor so we decided to take a look before dinner. We thought it was a bit strange services were only available from 11am to 4pm, and concluded it was probably a typo.

But when we got to the second floor, the lights were on dim. On the left side of the elevator was a glass door and some young girls who were dolled up in skimpy clothing and smoking up a storm.

On the right was a counter and two men. One approached us and I asked about massages.

He was a bit embarrassed and said there were only "rooms" here.

Next to the counter were rows of large comfy chairs and two older men smoking and chatting, but there was no television for them to watch. What were they doing?

The young man repeated that there were only rooms available as I wandered further in and then saw a narrow hallway and a series of "rooms"... probably for more than just massages.

My friend and I quickly beat a retreat and were horrified the hotel we chose had an "East Asia Sauna". Then we realized probably from 11am to 4pm the services were legit, but things turned shady right after.

So much for getting a workout... unless you had a different kind of workout in mind...

More sketchiness ensued later when we ate dinner in the Xiamen University area and thought we'd try out a place called "Loving Hut" for dessert.

It's all white inside and looks like it offers healthy snacks -- and it's actually a vegan restaurant.

The menu has vegan burgers, a variety of salads, noodles and drinks -- including its own wine.

We ordered an apple tart and taro tart (they were out of pumpkin) and waited for them to arrive.

Meanwhile the restaurant has several screens and they were showing a strange documentary about religion... Palestinians and Israelis coming together... young people talking about "finding the way" and how "he has guided us"....

It was really freaky listening to these pronouncements.

We ate our tarts as quickly as we could, paid our bill of 8RMB and scooted out of there while the staff smiled broadly thanking us for coming.

Uh, yeah, sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

8 RMB? Wow.

Yeah, I stayed at a 3 star hotel in Guangzhou that had the same setup. When we saw the floor with massages, my dad called our tour company and made them switch us to another hotel without such rooms.