Monday, March 28, 2011

so long salon

One of the best parts of Indonesian life is the salons. I realize salon services are cheap here because labor is cheap, and probably under paid. That aside,  I feel that I deserve it because I put up with plenty of other crap here in Jakarta.

The basics are manicure, pedicure, massages and cremebaths.  For a cremebath, the salonista puts an intensive conditioner in your hair. The choices are ginseng, aloe, vera, strawberry, avocado, egg, etc, etc ad nauseum. The kicker is they rub the conditioner in and you get a 20 minute head massage while they work it in. There is almost always some back/neck/arm rub included. Cremebaths usually last about an hour, finish with a blow dry and a feeling that you could be mistaken as a shampoo ad model.
courtesy of
Massages range from an hour to two hours. A couple weeks ago I  got an Indian massage.  It was an hour, slightly painful but she got all the knots out.  The end was a little like a Thai massage; she pulled me about like I was Gumby. The reflexology is a massage over the clothes, the Thai massages make me feel like I should be taller as they stretch and pull your limbs about,  oil massages are great when they're good and bad when they're not.  I like them but they are a bit bruising and usually leave me sore and limping for at least a day.

When I was working up in Pluit (north of the city center) there was a salon in the same mall as the academy I was working in. I thought 65,000 Rp (about $7.50/5.30 Euros) for a creme bath was a good deal.  BUT THEN I was introduced to a training school for a chain of salons.  Last week a friend and I each for a creme bath - back massage included- and a pedicure for 30,000 Rp ($3.50/2.45 Euros)!!  It took three hours but I felt spoiled and wonderful after. In The States, a day like that would run three hundred bucks or more.

Sunday was a belated birthday day.  A massage and lunch from one friend.  A creme bath, pedicure and snacks from another friend.  It was brilliant. Considering I'm not planning on staying in Indonesia or Asia indefinitely, I figure I should take full advantage and make salon visits a near weekly occurrence. In all my trips to the salon I am still slightly unnerved by four year olds getting creme baths and massages.

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