Part 4…The Massage
After an early lunch we all went back to our cottages. This time the 2nd cottage was ready for occupation so Irene, Steven, Stef and Kok moved their stuff next door.
Hubby and I went to take a nap (yes, we napped again! Maybe that’s why I am the of all the siblings :P). But when I woke up, hubby was already gone. It was time for the LTB’s (Lau Ta Bo – Old men) appointment with the masseuses. They were booked for foot reflexology, and neck and shoulder massage.
The LZB’s (Lau Za Bo – Old women) appointment was at 2:30pm, half an hour after the men’s, so we went over to check out how they were doing. From the pictures you can see how relaxing it was for all of them. There was only one shoulder and neck massage chair so Steven went first with that. The other 4 LTB’s had their foot massaged while facing the sea, not that they really bothered with the scenery before them!
Soon it was our turn so we were herded into a room next door. We were given 1 pair of super large black disposable panties, a shower cap and a sarong each. The panties were so large that Stef managed to step into the wrong hole heeheehee… We were helped into the hydrobath tub and with our sarongs floating with the bubbles, we laughed and joked away, oblivious to the motor boats passing by our stilted rooms.
Half an hour in the bubbles and we were asked to shower and change into a new pair of XXL panties and fresh sarong. We than sat on the seats with our back facing the sea and had our feet scrubbed with salt. It was a simple procedure that lasted less than 10 minutes. Then we were led to another room next door.
Irene and Stef were there first and had already begun their body massage. They were lying on the beds facing the sea so Lina and I had the beds facing the door, which was ok since we were lying faced down most of the time.
Earlier when we confirmed our appointment we were asked to choose our body scrubs and masks. I picked Lavenda scrub and Dead Sea mask I think. Anyway, while we were being pampered, we could hear lots of motorboats passing by. Good thing my sisters asked for the blinds to be lowered so we had more privacy from these boat people who were probably trying to catch a free show LOL And they would have seen something when we turned around and had our front scrubbed and massage but since I wasn’t in the ‘firing line’ I didnt’ worry at all 😛 Hubby wouldn’t have enjoyed the thought if I were LOL
I must say that the Javanese massage is so much more relaxing than Thai massage. Thai massage is a test of your endurance for the masseuse would twist you this way and that and use her elbows or even knees to massage your acupoints. Though you might think that you’re breaking into pieces while she’s administering the treatment you’ll have all your kinks ironed out by the end of the session and feel so much lighter after that. Javanese massage, however, is totally soothing. So if you’re a masochist, the Thai massage is what you need 😛 If you’re not and cannot withstand the slightest bit of pain, go for Javanese massage 😉
We were served ginger tea twice, once before we commenced the scrub and then again after the scrub when we had showered and ready for the massage. The tea was really hot and spicy and it would send a burning sensation down your throat and warm your body. It was supposed to help with the blood circulation. I love ginger tea so perhaps 2 cups weren’t enough LOL
After the pampering, we got dressed and the lady who attended to me twisted my long hair into a bun on top of my head which was really neat. Don’t know how to do it myself without the aid of hairband or rubber band but then it’s not really advisable to do it since it means pulling the hair really tightly which will cause hair loss. Anyway, I am now back to short hair so no more buns for me LOL
We gave our masseuses a tip of S$10 each which made them very happy. The norm is to give S$2 but since they make so little money but give such good service, we decided to be generous. They were really professional because they didn’t talk among themselves while they were treating us, knowing that we wanted to relax. We didn’t talk much among ourselves at all except during intervals when we had to shower after the scrub. They were friendly and attentive and polite so they earned the tips.
Off we went in search of our LTB’s and after knocking on our cottages (they had the keys) and getting no response, we went to the lobby and found four of them playing mahjong at the lone mahjong table. Steven is the only one who doesn’t play mahjong so he just sat at the lobby and waited for us. For S$16 a day you can rent the mahjong table and mahjong set so the guys did just that. The LZB’s had to wait while they finished the game and I got to take a picture of the beautiful sunset from the restaurant.
We booked 2 cabs to take us to Windsor Hawker Centre, which was a half hour ride away. It cost $24 per taxi for a 2-way trip to and fro and we made arrangement for the taxi drivers to pick us up at 9pm. Once we stepped into the hawker centre, it was mayhem all around because we were accosted by stall workers clamouring for our business. There were many seafood stalls and many beer promoters.
The concept of the hawker centre is quite similar to the Newton Food Centre in Singapore except that our stall owners are less aggressive because the authority has come down hard on them for harassing the patrons. Not so in Batam. The moment we decided on the stall to order from and sat down, about 4 or 5 beer promoters started bombarding us with their promotions. Heineken buy 5 get 1 free, Carlsberg buy 5 get 1…all for only around RP130,000 (can’t remember exactly how much but it’s less than S$3 each). The guys were delighted and ordered Heineken, I think.
Then we ordered seafood from the Mandarin-speaking stall owner, a young lady. We had whole fish, mussels, prawns, sambal vegs, chicken to go with white rice, and ordered twice the oyster egg omelette from another stall because the oyster was really fresh and the omelette not oily like those we have here. The damage? Around S$15 per person, and that includes 2 rounds of 5+1 beer and 2 glasses of orange juice for me and sis. Where in the world in Singapore can you get that kind of price for the amount and quality of food and beer that we had there? Definitely worth going back again!
There was a karaoke pub within the hawker centre area and patrons of the hawker centre can go up to sing on the stage if they are brave enough. So we were treated to some free concerts by some entertaining patrons, mostly from Singapore like us, but unlike us, they were mostly Ah Peks, very old men of over 50s who came to Batam for the cheap beer, cheap food and, the willing women…Batam isn’t known as the Island of Mistresses for nothing, no disrespect to the Batam women though. In my next write-up we will talk a little about this.
We managed to make it back to the resort before 10pm and in time to purchase the Kongming lanterns (sky lanterns) from the only kiosk before it closed. Each couple bought a lantern and we began lighting them up beside the resort pool. It was a massive lantern so the fuel cell was a big one and took a long time to burn. Hubby got our lantern up first (he always seems to know what to do…sigh, my hero!) while I was busy filming and taking pictures. Then he went around helping the others and got his finger burnt by the dripping wax…poor hubby 😦 . It was a delight watching the lanterns take flight over the sea and heading towards the moon and each time we got one up, the other resort guests would cheer along with us. It was our first experience with the Kongming lantern and it was a memory to cherish. Hubby enjoyed it despite the blister.
We went back to our cottages and the four men wanted to continue with their mahjong game (the hotel staff had moved the mahjong table and tiles to our cottage). I was feeling sleepy (drank some beer) and had showered and changed but didn’t want to sleep alone with Juliurs because our room was spooky dark. Hubby didn’t want to leave me alone either and insisted that I go sleep at the other cottage where they were playing mahjong. In the end I bunked in with Lina in our own cottage until the mahjong game was over and he came and claimed me. Hubby knew I didn’t want to sleep alone on the single bed because I was still scared so he squeezed into the bed with me. Me, hubby and Juliurs in one small bed, imagine that 😛
Oh, before I end this, something funny happened at the mahjong table. Raymond, Alvin, Kok and hubby were playing and drinking beer they bought from the kiosk and when it came to Raymond’s turn, he took the tile and stared blankly at it. With his elbow on the table and his head resting on his raised hand, he dropped the tile that he was holding. The others thought that he was considering the next move until hubby asked, “Have you fallen asleep?” Yep, he did, right in the midst of the mahjong game LOL
Next…City tour and home sweet home…