I cannot even begin to describe the amazingity that is a spa day in India.
For one of the girls’ birthdays, she planned a trip to a fairly inexpensive spa near campus. Our driver picked us up at 8:30, bright and early. He was on time. He was careful. Everything went smoothly—until he took us to the wrong spa.
He pulled up to a hotel in a ritzy part of Hyderabad. We thought maybe we had gotten the name of the spa wrong, so we went through the hotel and up to the floor which housed the spa. Definitely the wrong spa.
So we head back out to the front of the hotel, where our driver said he’d wait for us in case it wasn’t the right location. He wasn’t there. We mosey over to the parking garage, where we realize that we have absolutely no idea of knowing where he might have gone. Plus we had already paid him.
As we made our way out of the security gate and onto the road in front of the hotel, our driver pulls up. Thank goodness. He was super nice. He tried to help us find the correct spa and even talked to the spa receptionist on the phone to find out directions. Apparently it was 50 km away. (Someone in the hotel told us that, too, when we asked about our spa. But we didn’t believe them.) So we said eff it and went back to the hotel.
And I am so glad we did.
The place was gorgeous, and the employees were so nice. We spent at least half an hour picking out what we wanted. When we finished, the receptionist took us out to the pool area. And OMG. The spa had its own doorway leading to the deck. Its own DOORWAY. A cube with a door in it in the middle of the pool deck just for the spa. They had those giant circle beds and those chairs with the canopies over them. Plus a disappearing edge pool. Complete with pigeons and a view of the lake.
After awhile, the same woman came back to get us. She showed us to the changing room, consisting of: lockers, two showers with rain showerheads, a room with a chair in it, a bathroom, two vanity spaces (one with sinks, one with hairdryers and a bench), a jacuzzi, and a steam room. We got bathrobes, these weird granny panties, shoes, shower caps, the whole nine.
When we finished taking pictures of everything, we put on these huge towels and went into the steam room. Boy, was that interesting. Very steamy. There were these tiny mosaic tiles everywhere—the floor, ceiling, benches. There were also lights in the ceiling that changed colors like a Christmas tree.
The woman came to get us again, this time to have us change into the bathrobes and meet our massage therapists. They took us to a “blue room,” as we called it, to sit in super comfy chairs while we waited for like two seconds for them to call us back. (I forgot to mention that two of them had been called in to work especially for us. There were only two working already, and we had four in our group.)
I started by picking out which oil I wanted for my massage and confirming that I wasn’t allergic to any of what they would use for my facial. Then it was time to get it poppin’. I had a thirty-minute back massage that was absolutely wonderful. After the massage, the woman held up the giant towel used for modesty purposes. I thought she was telling me to put my robe back on, so I got up and made my way to my robe. I was not about to get a facial in nothing but my skivvies. Turns out I can’t take direction. She wanted me to turn over onto my back. I was going to LAY DOWN for my facial. What. The. Eff?! How pampered can you get? Part of me was mad at myself for blowing my I-do-this-all-the-time-your-spa-is-nothing-compared-to-where-I-usually-go cover. An even bigger part (pretty much 99.9% of me) was still beyond pumped and in shock about the whole experience.
The facial was so relaxing, I fell asleep. The last thing I remember is thinking how good it smelled that I wanted to lick the part that had gotten on my lip, but how the therapist might think it strange if I ate the facial. Then I thought I shouldn’t go to sleep because I wouldn’t remember the facial. Then she massaged my feetsies, and it was lights out. I mean, seriously. An hour-long facial? Yeah. I passed out.
After I got dressed, the massage therapist led me back to the changing room and turned the jacuzzi on for me. I didn’t bring any sort of swimsuit, so I didn’t bother getting in. I did, however, take a million pictures of myself post-massage before experiencing the most amazing shower ever. After that, I again took a million more pictures.
I ended up stuffing a washcloth, the undergarments (they’re hilarious; you would’ve taken them too), and of course the bathrobe into my purse before I left. I would’ve snagged a towel too, but it wouldn’t fit.
After the spa, we went to find food. We were starving. The birthday girl had a particular restaurant in mind, but it ended up being closed, as Monday was a holiday. So we went over to the mall instead.
Our first stop was a bookstore/cafe, where we got snacks. Then we went over to Subway for real food. On the way, I met a man from Nigeria. We weren’t able to talk much, since my group was on a mission for sandwiches, but he seemed pretty cool.
Corny as it sounds, while I was in line, I literally prayed that we’d meet up again if it would be a positive thing. I was so excited to meet someone from Africa again and find another foreigner in India who was still foreign to me. And sure enough, while eating my sub, he and his friend walked around the corner. I couldn’t tell if they noticed us; I couldn’t quite see from where I was sitting. But then they turned around and left. I thought to myself, “Not a nice trick, G-d. Not nice at all.”
But wait! They came back again! And this time over to our table. We talked for a bit, I gave them my number, and that was that. Mission accomplished.
After lunch, the four of us stopped for ice cream then went back up to the bookstore. I got another drink (the first was a strawberry shake, this one a strawberry iced tea), a book about two twins separated from the mother during the partition (sounds cheerful, right?), and presents for a special baby cousin of mine.
We even made it to the train station in enough time to make it back thirty minutes before dinner. All in all, I’d say it was a success.