I think this is what they call going native.

The story of how this got worse starts in a bit.


Here, in the middle of a 16 day outing in Kuala Lumpur, things that once looked crazy to me are starting not to see so crazy, at least until I return to the hotel room and am once again reminded, objectively, of how crazy things are.


I succumbed to a supposedly ancient Chinese therapy known as cupping, when they attach Matrix-like suction devices to your back and then abandon you in a poorly wallpapered room for 10 minutes.


The process supposed to remove the "wind toxins" from my body, which is a good thing since I didn't realize I had any of those and I certainly appreciated the opportunity to remove them forthwith.


As you can see in the first picture, the red blood welts are not dissimilar in color, swelling, and pain from a serious car accident.


As you can see in the second picture, something went horribly wrong, most notably my lack of understanding Cantonese. I managed to compound my first mistake by at least one order of magnitude. Here is the story:


I went to Malaka to do some exploration and it started to rain, so I dove into a little Chinese massage place to pass the time. It's hard to pass up a $15 hour-long massage. After my previous experience, I told them I just wanted a massage, and none of the suction cup stuff. The woman nodded absently then sent me upstairs where another Chinese woman was positively aghast at the condition of my back. She said, "NO NO NO - ALL WRONG! ALL WRONG!" I said, "I KNOW I KNOW". Then she said, "I FIX IT I FIX IT!" Then I said, "NO WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" and she went out of the room and I could hear a bunch of glass clanking violently together.


She said, "THIS THIS??, showing me a big box of glass bulbs about the size of softballs. I said yes, and she indicated for me to lie down. I thought she was simply asking me if that was what they did at the previous place, and it was similar but with plastic cups and suction pumps. I didn't realize she was about to do something much worse until I heard her light a flaming stick, igniting some kind of gaseous oily substance in the glass bulb then slamming it down on my back, where it stuck like a poison dart. I couldn't figure out how to say, "Burning Pain combined with suction pain please stop." in Chinese so, tried to crane my neck around to see what she was doing to me...


Pop pop pop, then three more were on me before I could do anything. The pain and suction was so diffused and all over, I could not even think about telling her what part hurt. I tried to get up, and the glass bulbs clanked all around, like when you try to move a Christmas tree after its already been decorated. As soon as I moved, she screamed, "NO MOVE! DANGER DANGER!", so then I froze still, while burning in a netherworld of vacuumed pain.


That fun lasted for a good while. After I got done, I gingerly made my way downstairs and the lady at the front counter warned me not to take a shower for a day. I was like, "why?" and she looked at me seriously and whispered, "Danger."

susan_r4, James and 24 more people faved this
  • visithra manikam 8y

    oh dear that looks painful - i have never dared try the acupuncture - but light bulbs?? first time im hearing that
  • Sande JL 8y

    and i was envious of your traveling to all these great exotic places....now I think I will be happy with following your travels via your photography
  • angelificatus 8y

    I like the concept of taking bad toxins out of our body .....
    but..that looked painful..(!)
    (first glance ,esp. first photo.. for a second...I thought ,waaah! side effect from hila monster?) (^_^)
    Wonderfully done, these photos..! Wow!
    I hope you're recovered nicely ~*~*~*
  • Fiora Casey 8y

    So....Did it work?
  • l8sunrise 8y

    hee hee hee! ;D Fabulous! Just fabulous!
  • Lumatic 8y


    now we all know the root of the saying "that sucks"...

  • Christina Andrada 8y

    Your "wtf" face says it all. I hope the treatment worked.
  • Finiky 8y

  • Jangky 8y

    So amazing photo and the strory too!!
  • Go Big Red 8y

    Cupping is good for you. You are now more healthy and wise.
  • rustblack 8y

    That's the funniest travel story ever. Love your expression in the first photo. I was laughing the whole time reading this.

    There is one thing that is curious. You stopped off at a "massage" parlor and walked away with "body hickeys" and we're to believe this story about medicinal cupping? Nice try, mister.
  • l8sunrise 8y

    OMG!!! The last two comments were hilarious! ;D This is still one of the greatest photos ever!!!
  • Sean Foreman 8y

    I still laugh everytime I see this image. I saw Iron Monkey a few weeks ago and they did cupping in the movie. When I told everyone what they were doing on screen, they turned to me and said "what is cupping". I then, of course, dug out this image as a prime example of cupping. ;-)
  • sanranros 7y

    or you just got a TON of hickeys from a giant girl and you made that story ALL up...
  • Janette 7y

    HAHA brilliant yet I am soooooo sorry... hope you have healed by now. *hugs*
  • gLiTTeRb☺i® 7y

    ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :x
  • dhaval202 6y

    ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!....... It hearts, it should cure you. massage and natural therapy should help.

    just admit you are an alien hybrid, your hdr skillz are great thought
  • bockal 3y

    My husband had the same thing done to him in China! I love your photos and Pins on pinterest, but where is the love for Australia? :)

  • Jivani Jeyasingam 1y

    This is an interesting story. Would love to publish it on our website, www.expatgomalaysia.com. Could you get back to me at jivani@theexpatgroup.com please?
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Taken on October 22, 2006
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